Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Explaining LOST - 316



All righty, here we are for another week of LOST.  We start on a shot that we actually haven’t seen for quite a while: the opening of someone’s eye. This was used a lot throughout the first season and beyond noticeably the pilot where Jack was discovered in the jungle wearing a suit and then proceeds to go out and rescue his friends. This week we start with…Jack waking up in the jungle wearing a suit and proceeding to go out and rescue his friends. Great, they have officially run out of ideas. Yet instead of a small bottle of alcohol Jack has a ripped piece of paper that says “I wish…”, which of course has me instantly playing selections from Into the Woods in my head. What? I’m alone in that? Anywho, Jack runs through the woods because he hears Hurley scream for help. Jack seems delighted. I don’t think it’s because he hates Hurley, but because he’s back where he belongs or at least where he wants to be: the hero. The hero who jumps off waterfalls. Hurley is downing sorta and Jack helps him move a few feet to the left so he can stand. What a hero. Kate however is discovered on the rocks without a single scratch. She awakes and doesn’t look so thrilled to be back to the island.

Meanwhile 46 hours earlier, they are all still in the church. Ms Hawking leads them all to the back of the church. They go down a spiral staircase into the basement of the church. It’s a series of dark tunnels that are creepy damp. Ms. Hawking opens a large door with a new Dharma symbol on it. It’s the lighthouse symbol from a few weeks ago. Jack instantly identifies this place as the Chamber of Secrets. They turn on some lights to see an awesome room with a giant pendulum and a ton of computer-ish things. Ms. Hawking says this is how Dharma found the island. It is called The Lamppost, which is an allusion to The Chronicles of Narnia.

 The rest of the cast isn’t as impressed as we are with this cool room. Jack asks Ben if he knew of this place. He says no, but Ms. Hawking smiles and says that he’s probably lying. Ms. Hawking starts to explain a few things while of course being a little vague. She says that a group of scientists build this place on a select batch of electromagnetic energy that connects to other points on the globe. They wanted to use that to find the island, but they had trouble. So they stopped looking for where it was supposed to be and started looking to where it was going to be.  Jack thinks about how silly that sounds and asks for some clarification. Ms. Hawking says “this fella” (Notice how she never says the name. Hmmm) discovered that the island is always moving and that is why they were never rescued. This nameless fella and his nameless team also made some math equations to figure out where the island will be in time. This is when everyone in the room got headaches at the same instance. So apparently the island is only open for limited moments and their window will close in 36 hours.

Desmond catches on and questions why in the world they want to go back. Now I love this part. We see the rage built up with Desmond. He tells her that Faraday said that only she can help the people on the island. He rants about how she lost him four years of his life by saying he had to go to that bloody island. This is referring back to the Season Three episode when Desmond sorta went back in time to before he was on the island and how he tried to change the future but she said it was useless. So Desmond is storming around the Lamppost in a rather cool fashion. While everyone else is walking about the giant pendulum in the middle of the room Desmond keep walking through it. Perhaps alluding to the fact that he is special and how the rules don’t apply to him like Faraday says? Ms. Hawking says the island isn’t done with him yet. He thinks that’s silly and tells Jack that they are all just pieces in some big game that Ben and her are playing. He also gives the advice “Whatever she says to do, ignore it.” We keep having these bold statements from characters this season and a lot of them contradict. Gotta pick and choose and I always choose Ben. Yet there’s even more information in this one scene. Seriously. So Desmond leaves and Ms. Hawking informs the rest of them that they must be on this one flight leaving tomorrow that is heading to Guam: Ajira Flight 316. Now remember it was Ajira water bottles that Faraday and friends found in the longboats a few weeks ago. She says in order for the island to bring you back you must replicate as close as you can the circumstances on which you arrived there so get as many people as you can.

Ms. Hawking has even MORE information for Jack. She pulls him into her office and hands him a letter with his name on it. Turns out it’s Locke’s suicide note. Seriously? He’s already addicted to pills and suicidal. Does he really need more grief? Fine, let’s just give him the letter. Who knows? Maybe it’ll cheer him up. SPOILER: It doesn’t. Jack didn’t know that Locke killed himself and asked why. Ms. Hawking laughs at the face of direct questions. She says that’s not important, but what is important is that Locke will help them get back. He will be a substitute for Jack’s dead father. Not only that he has to give something of his dad’s to Locke. Seriously? I’m not for sugarcoating anything but Jack is seriously depressed right now. Let’s just bring up his dead father. Ms. Hawking isn’t interested in sugarcoating and says that he needs to believe. That’s why it’s called a leap of faith.

Jack leaves and meets up with Ben in the middle of the church. Ben asks what she said to him. Jack doesn’t answer. Jack asks who in the world is Ms. Hawking and why does she know all of this. Ben tells the story of Thomas the Apostle. Seriously. I can’t write this stuff. I really can’t, because this speech was fantastic. Ben talks about how Thomas was not remembered for his bravery going into a place where he would surely die. He was remembered for doubting the resurrection of Jesus and how he was not convinced until he touches the wounds of Jesus. Jack asked if he was convinced then. Ben looks at him and says, “Everyone is convinced sooner or later.” Ben then heads off because he made a promise to an old friend. More on that later.

Jack goes from a church to a bar and has a staring contest with his drink. Yet he can’t drink it because his phone rings. He leaves the bar and goes to a retirement home to see Ray his grandfather.  Silly Ray keeps trying to escape the retirement home to find somewhere better than there. They chat for a bit while Jack unpacks Ray’s bag. He pauses and sees the shoes in the bag. Turns out those shoes are Jack’s fathers. Some fantastic acting by Matthew Fox (Jack) has it seems to really hurt to ask to take the shoes.

Back in his apartment Jack tries to make himself another drink, but is once again interrupted. He hears a noise in his apartment. His method of investigation is to walk around slowly and turn on none of the lights. Oh it’s Kate. She is lying on his bed. Man she sure does love to commit crimes. She asks if he is still going back to the island. He says yeah. So she’s all me too. And he’s all “Where’s Aaron?” And she’s all “If you want me to come with you, you’ll never ask me that question again.” And the audience is all “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? THERE’S A MISSING BABY HERE! THAT’S HIS NEPHEW! THAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW!” Yet Jack agrees. Why does Jack agree? For Jack got lucky that night. Jack is a terrible uncle.

The next morning Jack is making some breakfast and coffee for Kate. She questions the shoes that Jack has out and says they aren’t good for the island. Jack laughs cheerfully despite not knowing where is nephew is. He says those were his father’s. He talks about how years ago when his father died he didn’t buy his father a nice pair of shoes for the funeral because he figured no one will see his feet. So he just put on some old white tennis shoes. That’s all he was worth to him at the time. And mystery solved. That’s why Christian Shepherd is walking around the island with white shoes and a suit. On to where Aaron is. Yet that important mystery is distracted because Jack got a phone call from Ben. Ben is extremely bloody and at the docks. He got sidetracked and needs Jack to pick up Locke’s body. Now let’s play a fun game of connecting the dots. Ben said he was fulfilling a promise to an old friend. He wound up at the docks. Who’s the old friend he knows? Charles Widmore. What promise did he make? That he will kill his daughter. Where is Penny right now? On her boat in the docks. Uh oh. Did he succeed? Who beat him up? Where’s Desmond?

Meanwhile, Jack goes to the butcher shop to collect Locke. There he sees Ben’s friend Jill. Yes. Jack and Jill. She takes him to the back room where the coffin is located. She leaves to get the van and then Matthew Fox continues some amazing acting. As he takes off Locke’s shoes and puts on his father’s. He tries to give the suicide letter back to Locke. I love how he closes the coffin and stares at Locke and says “Rest in peace.” Great stuff.

Déjà vu kicks in right about now when everyone gets to the airport. Jack is working out the details to get Locke to Guam just like he did with his father back in Season One. Kate arrives in the airport wearing big ole sunglasses. He moves on to security and then he sees Sun. He smiles again. Jack smiles a lot this episode. They both look over and there’s Sayid being brought in by a U.S. Marshall. Oh and there’s Hurley reading a Spanish comic book. Yes I recognized the comic book. It was a Spanish translation of a cool series called Y: The Last Man. Why do I know this? You’re still asking that question? That’s adorable. Anywho, it’s going to be made into a movie soon with Shia LaBeouf but I picked it up because it was written by one of the writers of LOST. Anywho, Hurley is upset at the ticket lady because he wants to make sure there are no other seats. He bought all 78 of them. I loved this moment when he looks onto the other people as he tries to help them. That’s when he sees Jack. Jack asks how did Hurley know to come here. I don’t even have to tell you what happens next. Wait a tic. I’m now worried about Ajira Airways. A crazy looking guy who was famously associated with one plane crash buys almost an entire plane’s worth of seats and this doesn’t set off any mental alarms. This doesn’t scream flight risk? Can you at least check his shoes or show that you’re trying? Bah, whatever.

They get on the plane and Jack is in row eight. (LOST number.) Sayid looks shocked and angry to see Jack. Hurley gets on next toting a guitar.  Then Ben walks in all beat up and wearing a sling, which is hilarious. This season was the longest he’s even been without being beat up. Hurley freaks out at Ben’s arrival saying that no one told him he was going to be there. Ben smiles his evil smile and asks who told Hurley to be here. The cause of a direct question spread like a virus and disrupted Hurley’s vocal cords enabling him to speak for sixty seconds. See I figured more people would be freaking out. Oh look, it’s almost all of the Oceanic 6 on the same flight. That would get anyone nervous. One of the stewardess comes by and saying that the security said that the envelope can’t be with the coffin and handed it to Jack. Heh. Fate is funny. Jack looks at the rest of the people on board and asks Ben what will happen to them. Ben looks surprised and says “Who cares?” Jack has this great slight smile as he wonders why did he expect anything different. And the plane takes off. The camera moves to everyone and it’s great to see all of their reactions to what is happening.

During the flight Jack goes over and sits next to Kate. He talks about how crazy it is that everyone is back together and he wonders if it means anything. What a reversal from how he was five years ago. Kate says that it doesn’t mean anything and that they aren’t together. Then the chill factor really amps up when they hear that Frank Lapidus is the pilot. Jack decides to say hi to his good buddy. Jack and the rest of the world is very disappointed to see that Lapidus has shaved his beard. Lapidus talks about how this is his new job and then he sees the rest of the cast. He has this great transition of realization and says the spiffy line “We’re not going to Guam are we?” 

The flight goes on and Ben is reading the book Ulysses while Jack is freakin’ out. Jack turns to Ben and asks “How can you read?” Ben says, “My mother taught me” and then smiles that Ben Linus smile. See it’s even funnier because his mother died in childbirth. Wow. Ben continues to say that he can read because it is better than waiting for something to happen. He asked Ben if he knew Locke killed himself. Ben says he didn’t and he glares when he says it. They discuss Locke and then Ben gives Jack some privacy so he can finally read the darn letter. Locke obviously isn’t a fan of my verbose style for all it says is “I wish you had believed me.” Then right when Jack finishes some turbulence occurs.  Once again we get a variety of reactions from our cast. Yet here’s where it gets odd. Yes here! We don’t see a plane crash. We don’t see debris. In fact we see that mysterious yellow light and that hum.

Then we see Jack waking up in jungle a la the beginning. They edit down the intro but seeing Jack make a leap of faith has more clarity to it. Kate is fine. They wonder where the plane is. None of them remember crashing. They don’t know where Ben, Sun, or Sayid are. Jack is starting to get into hero mode as he starts to make plans to search the island for survivors. I’m sure he was just about to tell Kate not to go into the jungle when they hear a noise. It’s music. Coming from the Dharma Bus. (Ohh, ohh, Dharma Bus!). Hurley appropriately says “Dude.” Then a guy come out of the bus wearing a Dharma suit and holding a gun and low and behold….it’s Jin. Ha. Of course it is. It’s also worth noting that the Dharma symbol on his jacket is covered up but it’s a new one.


Now I really really liked this episode. One of the major themes of the show besides “It’s fun to abandon small children” has always been the balance of science and faith. We’ve had science—or at least science fiction—all season so far. Now we got into the faith. Now it finally clicked for me on how faith works on this show. It’s a new religion that only exists within the show. Yes the show talks about a lot of different religions but the characters have to have faith in the island and its mythology. Jacob is their God or whatever Jacob is exactly. Or maybe it’s just The Island they are worshiping. What just makes this an interesting balance is that I keep having doubts about this faith. The Others keep doing rather villainous things and this Jacob guy is almost too mysterious to understand if he’s good or evil.

To add more to this, we now see Jack transition from a man of science to a man of faith in what I saw as a very believable way. He always reminded me of Scully from The X-Files who saw all of this crazy stuff but never thought it was real. Once the island disappeared and people he cared about were gone, that’s when it became real. Also the last major element of faith tonight was the title of the episode and the number of the flight: 316. John 3:16 states “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” I think that connects well to the episode. Fun fact, this bible verse also helps most NFL and NBA teams win the games.

I also like to see them deal with fate and destiny, which has also been a big deal on this show. This was a huge part of this episode. Let’s just look at these characters. They basically relived the beginning of the show in different costumes. A US Marshall brought aboard Sayid, not Kate. Hurley brought a guitar case a la Charlie. Speaking of Charlie, when the plane started shaking Ben was in the restroom. Here’s a fun guess, but if Kate got pregnant from last night that means there’s someone on the plane who will add another to the Shepherd family tree. Sun was playing with a wedding ring a la Rose. Lapidus was flying the plane and we learned last year that he was supposed to fly Oceanic 815. It was so many things like this that made the episode so satisfying. 

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