Now that we've had our fun, yet educational video time, let's talk about the big stuff, by looking at all the little stuff...cause that's how LOST rolls...
The first scene opens and, akin to the time-traveling Islanders, we're immediately transported to 5 years in the past, when we were watching the very first scene of the pilot episode of LOST. Down to the close-up eye shot and the fancy (did I mention sexy?) business suit, Jack Shepard opens his eyes to find himself on the Island. And just like that, we have our old Jack back; the Jack who takes charge, who cliff-dives (beautifully, might I add) to save a screaming friend and who is the best man he can be (mainly, not a bearded, drugged up alcoholic). The main difference between that old Jack and our new and improved Jack; this new Jack is ready to face his destiny. He's slowly and painfully changed from a man of science to a man of faith.
46 Hours Earlier...
"We're all convinced sooner or later, Jack".
"We're all convinced sooner or later, Jack".
Our small group of Jack, Ben, Sun and Desmond join the mysterious Ms. Hawkings in Dharma's off-Island station, The Lamp Post (if you read Doc Jensen's column from this week, you'd know that The Lamp Post is yet another literary reference to C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia; the lamp post "guided" the children into the world of Narnia). Who knew Dharma had off-Island stations? Not me, that's for sure. Anyhow, as the audience shuts their gaping mouths (seriously, how totally awesome is that station??!!!) and attempts to "pay attention" to the suddenly mysterious-turned-school-teacher, Ms. Hawkings, we're given some very rare pieces of Island information. As a surprisingly excellent storyteller, Ms. Hawkings tell us the history of the Lamp Post and how the O6 can find their way back to the Island. Here's the breakdown:
* The station was built by Dharma to FIND the Island.
* A "very clever fellow" thought to use a specific equation, along with the pendulum, to discover where the Island will BE, not where it IS (or WAS).
* This "very clever fellow" discovered that the Island was always moving.
* In order for the Non-Islanders to get back, they must recreate, to the best of their ability, the original circumstances that landed them on the Island.
* John's body will act as a substitute for Jack's father's body, adding another important parallel to the journey back.
So, this new knowledge (which was VERY helpful, here's an apple for you, Ms. Hawkings) brings up several questions, the most immediate being, WHY does it have to be like that? Why the parallel circumstances? At the same time, it gives us the real reason why everyone (Richard, Ben, Ms. Hawkings) were adamant about bringing back everyone from the Oceanic 6. The attempt could fail if they were missing anyone.
We find out that "316" is the new "815" and we're therefore given the purpose of the episode title. Ajira Flight 316 will be the flight that takes them back to the Island and our small pieces of Ajira fall into place.
After story time is over, events move quickly, persistently pulling our O6 + 1 (and later another surprise guest) towards the Island and their individual destinies. And wouldn't you know it, we miss most of these events!
We watch as Desmond angrily gives his message to an oddly unresponsive Ms. Hawkings and watch as he storms out after Ms. Hawkings, ignoring a direct message from her own lost son, insists that the Island isn't done with him. We watch on as Ms. Hawkings tells Jack about John's death and we wonder why he seems to care so much, seeing as he has always hated John. We watch as Jack rages against his instructions, shocked that he can still, after all that's happened, be surprised and offended by the "ridiculous" events surrounding him. We watch as Ben jealously asks Jack about his secret conversation with Ms. Hawkings and we watch as Ben refuses to answer Jack's questions about the origins of Ms. Hawkings. We, and Jack, are handed yet another literary reference, this time with the Bible, as Ben walks out to full-fill "a promise to an old friend". As Jack sits, ignorant of Ben's intentions, we, the audience, rage at the screen because we are not in fact ignorant (for once) and know Ben is on his way to kill Penny. As our futile raging dies down, we are shown what seems to be an out of place and useless scene with Jack's grandfather...until Jack is given the one last thing he needs to make it back to the Island.
With two last highly emotional scenes, we are given the entirety of Jack's last day off-Island. Jack comes home to find Kate lying on his bed and as you watch what you think is a re-connection of the two lovers you can really only think two things; "Yippie! Kissy time!" and "Wow, Kate looks like hell. Something REALLY bad must have happened". The next morning you get a awkward "morning after" vibe coming from Kate and a pitifully peaceful vibe coming from Jack. The scene leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth and with Kate's line of "We're on the same plane, Jack. It doesn't make us together " later in the episode, you realize that what you thought was a reconnection, was actually...well...not. With the way Jack looks at Kate, with such love, and with a rapidly approaching reunion between Kate and Sawyer, you can't help but feel pity for poor Jack.
Our last purely Jack scene is the most intense and emotional one. Struggling to overlook the "ick" factor that comes from Jack changing a dead man's shoes, this scene really hits home how very scared and lost these people are, a feeling that is reinforced when we catch sight of Hurley and Kate at the airport. Even Jack chuckles over the sad irony of it all, as he finally accepts the fact that John, even in death, has gotten what he always wanted from him; a leap of faith.
But this is ALL we are shown. We are allowed to follow Jack's story from the dock to the airport, but we have no idea what happened to everyone else during that time. We are missing five stories; Kate's, Sayid's, Ben's, Sun's and Hurley's. In the end, they all end up on Flight 316, even the ones who were the most fierce about staying behind. Some viewers might have experienced a "WTF?" response to this development, but I for one think it was genius. By skipping over most of the stories, the writers allowed for a smooth flow of action, moving the story forward and giving the audience what they want most; to see the Non-Islanders back on the Island. It also gives them a pretty setup for future flashback episodes that will tell us the individual stories that we missed.
Alright, let's wrap this sucker up with some quick final thoughts:
- Even as Jack chuckles over his ironic destiny, I chuckle over the convenient fact that John has the same shoe size as Christian. Coincidence? I think not.
- Is it just me or does the Island seem to have a "Adult Swim...FOREVER" sign on it? Not only do pregnant mothers die on the Island, but now Kate and Sun have left their children to go gallivanting through the jungle? What's wrong with this picture?
- In a totally Ben-like move, Ben risks everything to fulfill a grudge. If we were perhaps thinking that Ben actually had the O6's interests at heart above his own self-interests, this move slapped our hands and called us silly children. We'll never learn. Plus, did no one think to ASK Ben why his face looked like a smashed cherry pie? I mean, HELLO!
- Sayid seems to have picked the part of Kate to play in LOST's theater production of "Creating the Original Circumstances". It's a musical.... Watching as a handcuffed Sayid is marched by his adorable New Amsterdam alum to his plane seat, we are again hit by major deja vu. Wasn't that Kate's original part?
- Hurley seems about as happy as a fat guy on a deserted island to be back on a plane headed towards a...deserted Island. And...per Brett's insistence, is that Charlie's guitar he's hanging onto for dear life? If so, how'd he come by that? Plus, it's nice to know that at least SOMEONE is concerned for the well-being of the other passengers (that will all probably die in this return-to-Island attempt). It's sad that Ben's "who cares?" attitude seems to be radiating from all the other O6 passengers, but hey, there's nothing like the wrath of spurned destiny.
- What do you suppose it's like to walk onto a plane that you know and hope will crash? That can't be the best feeling in the world, now can it?
- Who else jumped WAY up outta their seats when Frank's voice came on the plane's intercom? Not me, but Brett certainly scared the holy hell out of me when he did. Still, the reaction was totally justified and may I say, I heart Frank. Who else is cool enough to deadpan "We're not going to Guam, are we"? That man is the essence of cool, seriously. But I like him better with the beard.
- John's letter: "Jack, I wish you had believed me, JL". Short, sweet, down to the point. Not what I was expecting, nor I would guess, what Jack was expecting, but still, it works. I think it's safe to say that we, and Jack, wish he had believed him also.
- So, our people are on-Island again but where is the plane? Where is everyone else? And why is Jin in a Dharma suit? It seems that Faraday isn't the only one who infiltrated the Dharma Initiative.
- Welcome, new people! How would you like to join us on this fun, yet often times deadly Island? Theme park rides include time-travel, hatch exploration, and the instructional class of "How To Out-Run a Flaming Arrow". We hope you enjoy your stay!
Whew, that was A LOT to cover. I hope I didn't bore anyone to death! So, what did you think? Love it or...as if it's a possibility, hate it? As for me, this show can do no wrong. Until next week, LOST voyagers!