"I'm sorry, you have a bit of a journey ahead of you"
Answers... and more questions.
This episode filled in a LOT of gaps, but brought up even more things to make me go "hmmmmmmm." I really didn't want the episode to end - in fact, right up until the last scene I was trying to figure out how it would end. Nice to see they brought back the same young actor who played young Ben in "The Man Behind The Curtain."
Also I went into the episode looking forward to the DHARMA side of things more than the Ajira Airways crash, but found myself really digging the Frank/Ben/Sun storyline a lot more, partially because the love trapezoid looks to be incredibly grating. Annoying, stubborn Jack was also back this episode, right when I thought we'd have seen the last of him. Frank, however, was simply terrific - I really hope we see a lot of him through the end of the series.
So what did we learn?
1) Sayid ended up in the past with Jack and company, Sun ended up with Ben and Frank.
2) It was Sun who took the outrigger with Frank, after she awesomely kicked Ben's smug ass with an oar, which is why he was incapacitated when Locke found him.
3) Frank did indeed land on the Hydra runway
4) The Ajira Ariways group are definitely in present Island time (2007), according to Christian (Jacob? I really don't know what to call him now...)
5) Radzinsky designed The Swan station and it was being built in 1977, which makes sense since The Incident was supposed to be in 1985 (according to the Blast Door Map).
6) Radzinsky worked in The Flame before he started pushing the button.
7) Faraday "isn't around anymore" in 1977
8) Amy gave birth to Ethan, who's the son of Horace! So cool! Rom always seemed to be an alias, because of the cool anagram it made. So was he really Ethan Goodspeed?
9) Young Ben is on the Island in 1977 and, from the look of things, it's after he met Richard (or at least his mom), but not much more. He still looks ten years old, meaning he most have arrived on the Island after Sawyer and company came.
10) Hurley, at least, knows about the Purge. Glad he let everyone in on it.
Fills in a LOT of blanks, most from this season and some important points on our timeline (Memphish has a good one here). But it also brings up quite a few more and didn't really answer any of the long standing questions...
1) Why didn't Sun go back in time with the rest of them?
Probably the burning-iest of all the burning questions. My first thought was that she's pregnant and women shouldn't time travel while preggers. But Kate's the one who's actually pregnant (we assume) so that's not it. Christian seemed to suggest she could possibly travel back and find him, so she might not be stuck there permanently.
But what's her purpose for being in 2007? The Island seemed to send everyone to when they needed to be, so Sun must have some task to accomplish in the present day before she can rejoin her husband.
2) What happened on the Island in those three years? Where's Richard and the Others?
Given the condition of Pala Ferry, the Hydra Station and the Barracks I thought they might be even farther in the future then the present day. The freighter guys did do a number on the Barracks when they invaded, but it seemed to me like things were made up to be even more dilapidated than they should have been after three years, certainly unlived in with the exception of the local Island God.
When we last saw him, Richard was supposed to take the Others to the Temple and wait there. Are they still there? Are they alive? What happened to them while the Island was skipping though time? And is Smokey still around? Certainly sounded like Smokey in the background when they went in the door. Get Lost Podcast thinks Claire might have made an appearance in the background too.
3) What happened to Faraday?
We know for certain that Faraday gets himself into the Orchid at some point, so does he use it to get himself off the Island? We know that DHARMA eventually does find out about the Orchid's wormhole to Tunisia because Charlotte dug up a DHARMA collared polar bear in the desert. So we know for sure they tested the wormhole on the bears. Think maybe Daniel tested it on himself?
We better find out. I really want to hear more about what he thinks the time travelers can and can not do. :)
4) So what's Young Ben's agenda at this point?
Let's assume that Young Ben has already met Richard who's told him he has to be very, very patient. What else has Richard asked him to do? Will he help Sayid escape? The Purge doesn't happen for 15 years, so we know the violence in the previews doesn't do anything drastic to DHARMA or the compound. But I really hope Ben helps Sayid escape to the Others' camp (which would be nice to see in 1977).
And does present day Ben remember meeting Sayid and the others in 1977? You would think he must have known Sawyer on sight. I guess it depends on how long they were with DHARMA...
5) So Ethan isn't killed in the Purge either? And where's Annie?
So now we know Ethan was actually born on the Island to Amy, who was a member of DHARMA, the second "member" of DHARMA we now know survived the Purge (well, third actually, counting Charlotte). So Ethan wasn't originally an Other and, in fact, he was only 15 at the time of the Purge. Did Ben recruit him and some of the "good" DHARMA folk? Did the Others capture the children and take them away before the Purge?
And since Young Ben is here, where's Annie? Did she survive the Purge or join the Others as well?
* It really sucks to be a co-pilot on Lost.
* After Sawyer called Hurley "Kong" and Jack "Doc," I was so waiting for a "Freckles" - he called her "Kid" instead.
*Lots of really good cinematography this episode - the scene when Sawyer drove up in the van and the night shot of the Island were really spectacular. Must really suck to film there. ;)
* Hurley had so many good lines this episode:
"Dude, your English is awesome"
"I vote for not camping"
"I guess we found Sayid"
* Radzinsky's a bit of a paranoid nutjob, just as I always pictured him. :)
* The love web is so annoying. But raise your hand if you initially thought Juliet purposely left Kate off the list to screw her over. I would so have paid to see that happen.
* The Whispers returned when Frank and Sun arrived at the Barracks.
* When the door opened as Christian showed them the photo, I so thought Smokey was going to waltz in...
* Kinda amusing that Pierre Chang processed Jack. And, haha, Jack's a work man. Wonder if Sawyer had anything to do with that. Hurley's jumpsuit had a chef's hat on it. He's DHARMA Kirby! :)
* Notice Pierre also still had two arms at this point. Of course, he doesn't make the Swan Orientation film until after The Incident.
* Ben gave Sayid a very "Omen"-ish look there at the end. Awesome.
* Sayid was a "14J"
I liked this episode a lot - it was really the second half of "LaFleur" or, possibly, the middle third of a trilogy - and it filled in a lot of blanks. But I have to say I'm worried about where things are going - certainly looks like there's a lot of fighting going on next episode and I really hope no one (other than Kate, that is) dies. And I'll be pissed if any DHARMA folk execute Sayid - much rather have him run away and join the Others. I'll give it a solid 4/5 and giddily await next week.