Having 316 start in such a similar manner to the very first Pilot episode was fitting. The first season was very much concerned with informing us, via flashback, who these people were prior to the crash of Oceanic 815. Now, throughout the next few episodes, I expect we’ll have flashbacks telling us about what the likes of Hurley, Kate, Ben and Sayid were doing, almost like a re-run of Season One’s format, prior to the crash of Ajira 316.
Well, the sort of crash of Ajira 316.
Without any wreckage or impact it’s hard to classify what happened. There shone a similar bright light that accompanies the Island moving in time (something that, on some level, must have happened to the plane) but for here, for now, I think I’ll leave the time travel theorising alone. We’ve had quite a lot of that over the past few weeks and this episode offered a respite from it, so I’m taking a break, too!
Well, except to mention this guy.
I believed the likes of Juliet and Sawyer and Jin would finish up stuck in the 1970s Dharma time on the Island ever since we saw Faraday over at The Orchid at the start of Season 5. Faraday had managed to get himself a Dharma job, and it seems Jin has managed to get himself a Dharma job, too! (His Dharma logo is potentially a star symbol - another new Station?) It all points to them having stopped time jumping (as I’ve previously speculated, this would have occurred when Locke turned the wheel) and getting stuck in the ‘past’. Once they re-group with Jack and co I guess they can try and figure out how to get back to the time they belong in.
(Bizarrely, they’ll have disagreements about whether they belong in 2005 or 2007, depending on whether they’ve been in flashforwards or not!)
So it seems one of the very first Dharma Stations was never on the Island after all. Rather Dharma were studying electromagnetism around the world, finding hotspots and conducting research. Electromagnetic hotspots around the world have been mentioned in Lost before, way back in the Season 2 episode S.O.S., when Bernard took Rose to see a healer to cure her cancer; that guy (Isaac of Uluru, if you must know) spoke of such hotspots, which at least gives the idea some prior grounding in the show.
The Lamp Post Station, then, was apparently designed to find the Island that someone clever worked out wasn’t so easy to locate due to the fact that it was always moving. If we think back to Season 4, when Daniel did his rocket test and found time discrepancies and the dead doctor washed up on the shore dead before he had even been killed, we can figure it’s true that the Island has always been moving, fluctuating within a bandwidth of time, just on a smaller scale than the turning of the donkey wheel provoked.
Not for nothing did the writers have Ms. Hawking say the line: “Oh, stop thinking how ridiculous it is. . .” We’re well through the looking glass and have tumbled deep down the rabbit hole.
The reason why it was necessary for the Oceanic 6 to be together was to try and replicate the same circumstances that were present for the crash of Oceanic 815. This ties into the idea of fate. As Locke once said to Jack, “Each one of us was brought here for a reason.” The reason the crash of Oceanic 815 occurred was because it was meant to happen, to deliver those people to the Island – and the universe could course correct it to happen again so long as enough similar factors were present to force it through.
It’s certainly a leap of logic, a stretch of imagination and a big dose of shifty plotting but it just about holds together in the way Lost manages to hold all aspects of incredulity together – with a heady mixture of science and faith.
Notice how Hurley had brought a guitar on the flight with him – an evident token towards Charlie the same way sticking Christian’s shoes on Dead Locke’s feet were a token. And hey, Christian Shephard white shoe fans finally got their answer about why he had tennis shoes on from the first time we saw him in Season One. (This will probably be a feather in the cap for all those people that like to say the creators of Lost had everything all worked out from the start, too!)
Hurley’s conversion into actually getting on the flight is, of course, one of those black holes I spoke of earlier. I guess we can look forward to a Hurley-centric episode on the Island that will give us a flashback story as to how he got there. You’ve gotta love how that idea feels like a harkening back to the classic days of old Lost! Flashbacks are coming back!
There were also two passengers on the plane given a little bit of focus this episode to insinuate we’ll see more of them. The man is called Caesar. Again, like back in the old days, flashbacks will serve to tell us all about who he is. Similarly so should we learn more about the woman, Ilana, who appears to be escorting Sayid on the plane in handcuffs – which very much makes them similar to the role Kate and Edward Mars fulfilled on Oceanic 815. I am personally taking a guess that the reason Ben was covered in blood was because he had gone and murdered someone and somehow pinned it on Sayid and so managed to get Sayid transported as a prisoner.
I also admit that such a theory does mean the legal system needs to work incredibly quickly so it’s flimsy for sure.
More haunting is the question of what Kate did with Aaron. (Again, Kate on the Island has a mystery crime she doesn’t want to talk about and, again, we’re all going to be asking the question about ‘What Kate Did’! Last time she had murdered her father by blowing him up – I’m pretty sure she didn’t take such drastic steps to get rid of Aaron.)
She could have handed Aaron over to Carole, the grandmother. Or left him with Sun’s mother, who’s already looking after Ji Yeon so another kid’s no bother, right!? Whatever Kate did, it’s a decision that is going to seriously affect her in ways we can only guess at. What the hell is Kate going to say when she eventually runs into Claire? “I had a dream where you told me not to bring the kid back, so I didn’t!” This surely can be her only justification.
Speaking of dead people – which I was when I was discussing Kate’s dead dad just a minute ago, OK – what of John Locke? What will become of him now he has been returned to the Island? Will he literally fill the shoes of the man whose shoes he is wearing and become the new Christian Shephard of the Island? If he does, what does that mean will happen to Christian Shephard? I’m certain we’ll see more of Locke as we know already that the relationship between the living and the dead is strange but not estranged on the Island. What about that line from Ben, when Jack asked him about how he could read on the plane?
Ben: “My mother taught me.”
It was a terrific deadpan joke that made me laugh at first, until I remembered that Ben’s mother died when she was giving birth to Ben. And yet he saw her on the Island years later. . .
Did he see her again after this point? Not just in half-meetings and brief glimpses, but proper conversations? Is the Island able to facilitate such a thing? What I mean is, when Ben said his mother taught him how to read, was he really joking all that much? All that and more lies in wait now the O6, minus Aaron, have returned to the Island.
Oh. One last point. If this guy. . .
. . . he better stay away from the Black Smoke. This is old school Lost we’re talking about! Old school Lost is brutal! How brutal? Well, at the start I showed this image of Ben:
Now what if he did indeed go on a murderous rampage and kill someone? Who springs to mind, that’s in the area? A certain Penny Widmore, who he pledged to Charles Widmore that he would kill. So what if he did? What if Ben found Penny whilst Desmond wasn’t there, killed her, and then left? Not only would that be brutal, it would fulfil Ben’s thirst for revenge for what was done to Alex. It would also pave the way for a very angry Desmond to want to return to the Island. The Island does demand sacrifices, and the Island isn’t finished with Desmond yet. . .