Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lost Episode Review 5.06, "316"

"I wish you had believed"

Probably the best Jack-centric episode in a long while, eh? LOST totally surprised me tonight - I really thought the O6 weren't going to get back onto the Island until the season finale. The fact they're already there and we still have ten episodes left means lots more Island goodness than I expected (although next episode looks to be an almost total flashback).

I expected the show to pick up right where it left off, letting us see what happened to Locke when he spun the wheel. When the show opened with Jack sitting up in the jungle, I initially thought Locke (or just Locke's mind) had been thrown into Jack's body in the past. I've never been so relieved to have been wrong. So what did we learn this episode (and what can we speculate)?

1. Desmond was not required to go back with the others. Walt too, it seems. Frank seems to have been on the plane by either coincidence or someone's (Locke's or Ben's) machinations. Aaron was required, I believe, because Kate is now pregnant with Jack's moody, melodramatic seed. I'm willing to bet Kate is acting as a proxy for Aaron.

2. Charlie is probably responsible for getting Hurley on board - no doubt it's his guitar. Sayid found a proxy for the Marshall, probably turning himself in to get her on board (and interestingly enough, it appears she survived).

3. The L.A. DHARMA station is called "The Lamp Post" - pretty nifty symbol too - and it's how they found the Island. Here's a lightened image of the door:

4. It certainly seems probable now that the people who were shooting at Sawyer and company in the canoes were probably Jack and crew.

5. Ben seems to have settled his score with Charles and Penny. I really, really hope she's not dead, but the fact that Ben's still alive probably isn't a good thing for her.

6. It seems the plane landed in the Island's past, judging from Jin's sparkly new DHARMA van and jumpsuit. Did all the Losties go behind the scenes for DHARMA at some point? Cool.

Lots of questions this week, although the first one (that I'm not counting) really is what happens to the format of the show from now on? Are we going back to flashbacks given that there's so much that happened in the 46 hours between their meeting with Ms. Hawking and the flight? We still need to see:

1) What happened to Locke? It looks like next episode is devoted to this.
2) How did Hurley get Charlie's guitar and get out of jail?
3) How did Sayid pick up the Ana-Lucia/Marshall hybrid?
4) Where did Kate stick Aaron? I'm guessing with Cassidy.
5) What the heck happened to Desmond and Penny?

That's pretty much five episodes there: Locke, Hurley, Sayid, Kate and Ben (or Desmond). Will the other five be time-skipping goodness? And what happens now in the season finale? I had originally thought the finale would end with the O6 getting back on the Island. But if they're already here, I wonder what showstopper they're saving for us? Something with Smokey? Amelia? The Magic Box?

Food for thought, eh?

Five Questions:

1) Why did they all have to be on the plane together to get back on the Island?

I have probably more of Jack in myself than I'm comfortable in admitting. I did like the concept around the Lamp Post, that DHARMA had a way of tracking the Island and that it did constantly move. This also makes the Donkey Wheel kinda like a manual override for what the Island naturally does. That's kinda cool to me. But I really don't want to have to accept that they all had to be on the plane because it's their destiny, and that a magical confluence of events occured to make them crash, although that seems to be (sorta) what it is. So let me get this straight - originally we were led to believe that Desmond was responsible for Flight 815 crashing when he failed to enter the Numbers in the Swan. Perhaps at this same time, the Island was open in a particular window and it not only led to the crash, but perhaps it contributed to them all surviving it.

But them all being on the plane together kinda throws all that out the window, doesn't it? While it doesn't rule out Desmond contributing to their crash, would Flight 815 have not broken apart if they weren't all on board? Or would no one have survived if they weren't all together on that flight? The two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, mind you, but it certainly seems to diminish Desmond's role in all this (not to mention, like Jack, I still don't quite buy it all).

Also lots of planes, ships and balloons have crashed on the Island before without Jack and Company. Are we supposed to believe you can't reach the Island unless it's your destiny to be there? Because if that's true, why do you need equations and a pendulum - can't you just tap your shoes three times and relax because eventually, no matter what you do and what choices you make, you'll end up there?

This bothered me a bit, I suppose, perhaps more than it should given the way the story has gone the last few seasons and I'm hoping this will be addressed in the ultimate answer to the show. Hurley's "we're all pawns" remark seems to be quite apt here.

2) When in time did they land on the Island and are they in synch with the other Islanders?

Judging from Jin, it seems like they appeared in the DHARMA heyday - 70's or early eighties - but that could be deceiving. Jin could have time traveled in a DHARMA jumpsuit, driving the van. In other words, he could have "carried" both with him from a previous time and the O6 could have arrived in the Island's present. This would mean the Losties are in synch with the rest of the time travelers on the Island.

However, from the episode with the canoes, Sawyer and company disappeared from whomever was chasing them. So if it really was Jack and company (and judging from the Ajira Airways bottle it was) chasing them, that suggests that the O6 is not in synch with the Island Losties. Guess we'll know for sure if Jin disappears before their very eyes.

Of course, it would also be cool if they really were all in DHARMA's heyday (if Jin hadn't time traveled with the stuff). I guess we'll find out the answer to this one soon as well.

3) What's Desmond's future role in all this?

Hopefully it's not to avenge his wife. :P

Desmond is certainly going to end up back on the Island at some point, but he wasn't required to get the O6 back there. Which brings up an interesting point, mainly that Desmond is so special he can reach the Island on his own. And remember, the first time he crashed there it was 1) in a boat and 2) without Penny. Wonder what he's going to do with his son?

4) What's going to happen to Ben now that he's (presumably) back on the Island?

At the end of "This Place Is Death," Jacob sounded kinda pissed at Ben. I'm really looking forward to Ben getting smitten (smited? smote?) by an angry, ghostly Island God. Not killed, mind you, just taken down a notch or two. Remember, Michael Emerson still needs an Emmy.

And I say presumably because we haven't seen Sun, Ben, Sayid or Frank yet, but I have to believe they all made it. Frank better still be alive, dammit. Needs to grow his goatee back too. Also remember that Frank was originally supposed to be the pilot of Flight 815. He's kinda a proxy for himself this time.

5) So what do they do now?

Okay, they're back. As Captain Finnegan said at the end of "Deep Rising," as he and Famke Janssen wash up on the shore of a desert island that has monster-like roaring coming from a dense jungle, "Now what?"

*As an aside, "Deep Rising" is probably the guiltiest of my guilty favorite bad movies. Great cast, cheesy as all hell, love every second of it. And the ending is eerily similar to our favorite show. Now back to your regularly scheduled LOST review...*

We've spent nearly a season and a half building up to this - so what to the Losties have to do to put the Island to rights again? And what was their original purpose for crashing on the Island. We'll probably get these answers in about another season and a half. *sigh*


* The episode opened with Jack's left eye (the evil eye). First eye opening in a while.

* The waterfall was the same one Kate and Sawyer recovered the case from in "Whatever The Case May Be" aka "The One With The Toy Airplane."

* That photo of the Island Jack was looking at in the Lamp Post:

* In case you care, Kate likes her coffee light and sweet. Like her men - NOT.

* If there was a five-color warning system for levels of Kate annoyance, Em just might have been tipped into STAGE FIVE: RED by this episode.

* On Ben's phone, when he called Jack from the marina, there was a sticker that said "Long Beach"

* Nice of Hurley to buy up the extra seats. Of course, if I was the stewardess who noticed it, I'd have developed a quick case of food poisoning before the plane took off and recused myself. Of course, the Island would probably go all "Final Destination" on my ass anyway. :P

* Jack was in seat 8C

* Jack's graddad's name is Ray

* Ben was reading "Ulysses" on the plane. Of course he was.

* "Dude, you might want to fasten your seatbelt" might have been the best line of the season. Best delivered line at very least.

* BTW, props where they are due: The two places I get my screencaps from are the Lost Media Photo Gallery and DarkUFO's Screencaps and Easter Egg site. Both are terrific and worth browsing on their own.


A very good episode, not as good as the last one, but better than average. I will say the plot of this season has simply raced along. I think it's a good thing in general even though I think the characters (with the possible exception of Daniel) have suffered a bit. I'm a little sad there aren't any self-contained episodes anymore, just a lot of fast-paced plot stuff. I'm giving it a 3.8/5.0 - I gave it an "Excellent" in my poll although I don't think it quite reaches that status. Looking forward to next week's Lockapalooza though. :)


Missie said...

Excellent review as usual. I'm guessing you meant that Aaron WASN'T necessary in that paragraph in the beginning. Either that, or he's stowed in an overhead compartment.

I didn't do your poll last night because I was torn- I also thought the episode was somewhere between "Average" and "Excellent". I also went to bed conflicted about losing the flashbacks. I hope you're right about flashbacks to see how everyone gets to the plane. It would echo the flashbacks from the beginning.

When I saw Hurley with the guitar case, I teared up.

When they mentioned "The Lamp post" I instantly thought of the lamp post from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Was Ben's broken arm the same one from when he landed in the desert?

I rewatched last week's episode and caught that Sun and Jin' daughter has the same name as my Krean suitemate from The semester after Woods Hole. The one who would get approximately 60 phone calls in 4 hours.

Jay said...

Yeah - I meant Aaron wasn't necessary. Took me a long time to write this last night and I won't really have time to proofread until later this afternoon. :P

I think they HAVE to have some flashbacks. We need to see at very least what happened between Ben and Penny.

Thought of Narnia too - best DHARMA symbol since The Looking Glass, IMHO. :)

Not sure about the arm - will check later on.

I'll be away from my desk most of today - really busy. But I'll check in on comments, from both this and previous posts, later tonight! :)

someGirl said...

It was thrilling to experience how fast everything was moving (maybe to heighten the "you only have 70 hours" thing) up until Kate shows up at Jacks place, ugh!!!!!!!! Kate is so....and Jack can be such a....No words, too frustrated.

I am soooo glad you mentioned the whole destiny issue. I was thinking the same thing. If the Island is the final arbiter of when you die (a la' Michael) why wouldn't it be able to manipulate them all back to it just as easily--sans the gloom song & dance?? Mrs. Hawking's words to Desmond keep running through my mind "Fate has a way of course correcting..." (or something like that) Is this "course-correcting"? And is it equal to destiny??

Sun making her decision so quickly kinda bothered me. I mean the whole reason to get off the We’re-Stuck-Here-Forever-Island was so that her baby could be born…and yet we didn’t see her struggle with the very real possibility that she may never see her daughter again…Not a big deal when compared with all the goodies we’ve see thus far, but that was just something that irked me.

Great work, as always. You know, I love how you are able to gather all the relevant information and pose some great questions without taking a free-fall dive into the bottomless pit of Lost speculation (it’s a place I visit often):

Tickey said...

I really hope they didn't write Penny off like that. Granted revenge would be one hell of a way to influence Des to come back to the island.

Definitly agree with the speculation of the Kate/Claire Parallel. Funny how she gives Jack the cold shoulder again now that she knows she's on the island. Will be interesting to see her explain a pregnancey to Sawyer.

Missie said...

Maybe the reason the way back to the island has to be a kind of forced dstiny is because not everyone was supposed to get back, i.e. Ben. Afterall, he is the one arranging everything with the Oceanic 6. We may get answers to this with the Locke episode next week.

Jay said...

I'm certainly of two minds on Penny's fate, Tickey. On one hand, I think they just can't kill off Penny. On the other hand, we know 1) Ben's still alive (and he probably wouldn't have given up if he hadn't succeeded) and 2) Penny's death would give Desmond a good reason to go back to the Island (and would sorta free him from his promise to Penny).

I'm hoping for the best. We at least know Penny and Des (and maybe Charlie) put up a good fight. :)

And I think we will eventually get answers to the whole destiny thing in the solution to the show. What I'm hoping is that each character has a "destiny" because they time traveled and did certain things in the past - things that have happened already. For example, we know Daniel was in Orchid station and we know he met Charlotte as a little girl. Does that mean it was his destiny to end up on the Island because of the things he did in the past? I guess that's one way of looking at it.

But I feel it's more like Hurley's pawn analogy. Every piece has a place and a purpose for the final solution to the puzzle.

Of course, in this case it seems that if one piece is missing the board is going to explode. :)

Jay said...

Oh, also one thing I meant to mention in the review is the weird flash we got when the Ajira plane crashed.

The original crash of Flight 815 in the Pilot was an incredibly expensive undertaking. I'm thinking the writers had to come up with an alternate way of depicting (or not depicting) the crash for budgetary reasons. I hope they came up with something not too silly. :)

Kerin said...

Hi Jay –

Great review, as always…

Definitely agree that with Kate being pregnant (to mirror Claire in flight 815) and I totally think that Kate left Aaron with Cassidy & Clementine.

I also think that Charlie convinced Hurley to go back to the island. Loved that Hurley is bringing (what I think) is a new guitar to the island (I was reminded on Lostpedia that the guitar that Charlie had was pierced by the arrow that was supposed to go thru his neck, according to Des, making it unplayable)

I hope that Penny hasn’t been killed – I like the theory that Pen/Des are the Adam/Eve in the caves. More so than that, I love their storyline. But as you said - it doesn't look good.

Jin’s Dharma suit, I looked up the picture on Lost-media and it looks like that patch is a new one...what do you think?? Here’s a link: I’m thinking that he’s working in the law enforcement dept. back in the day...kinda looks like a Sheriff's star to me.

My thought was this - we were seeing the flashes on the island when the 06 first left and the flashes only really happened for a few days/maybe a week BUT when Locke turned the wheel, they flashed once more, the time changing stopped, and they were left in a period of time when Dharma was going strong (70/80’s). So for the last three years they’ve been stuck in this time frame, and in order to stay alive, they needed to assimilate into the Dharma Initiative.

We know island “time” is different from the outside world, so this could be possible… but this also leaves so much to be answered about the people left on the island – Did their nose bleeds stop? Did anyone die or continue to suffer from the temporal displacement? After three yrs has their “past/future” memories vanished? How would they have gotten into the D.I. without being noticed? (I believe you needed to be on a list i.e Ben’s father) and I could go on and on.

Sorry my post is so long…it was another great episode.
I can’t wait for the Locke-centric episode next week and that will hopefully fill in some more blanks and, of course, give us more questions.