Last Night on LOST: 316
I’d like to be able to say that the reason this installment of Last Night on Lost is so late has something to do with an awesomeness-induced coma that set in just after ten o’clock last Wednesday evening, but the truth is… Hey, you know what? Fuck the truth. I was in an awesomeness-induced coma. And if you follow me below the fold, you can find out why.
All Jack, All the Time
Is this the first episode we’ve had that’s been entirely from Jack’s perspective, with no real B-storyline to speak of? We’ve had Desmond episodes like this, and, I think, a Locke episode (was the Ben episode from last season all from his perspective?) but I don’t think we’ve ever had one that was told entirely from Jack’s point-of-view.
It was definitely an interesting approach, one that set up the potential for between four and five future flashback episodes (Kate, Sayid, Hurley, Ben, and maybe even Sun). For, as much as we learned about how Jack got on Ajira Airlines Flight 316, we learned next to nothing about what finally brought the others around to Jack’s way of thinking. And that’s great for the show in the long run, but was it great for this episode?
More on that in a moment. But first…
The Lamp Post
Hello, Narnia reference!!! I love that, after the initial batch of boringly-named Dharma stations, each new station that we learn about has some connection to literature. Maybe that’s just me.
If you weren’t like me and didn’t find yourself the least bit giddy about the nod to C.S. Lewis, then there was still plenty for you in the opening sequence. Wasn’t there? Think about what we learned from the conversation with Hawking alone.
- There are pockets of electromagnetic energy all over the world.
- Dharma stations are built over at least two of them—the one on the island, and the one under this church in L.A.
- So, what’s to say that there aren’t other Dharma stations built near or atop the other pockets of energy across the globe?
- The pendulum helps predict where the island is “going to be” rather than where it is.
- So, the island is constantly skipping around in space and time.
- Equations help determine where in time the island will be.
- If that’s the case, then maybe the numbers had something do with the equations? Or maybe the constantly repeating numbers acted as coordinates for the outside world…
- Windows predicted by the pendulum provide a route back to the island.
There are a couple of other interesting tidbits. What is with the army photo that Jack looks at? It’s dated September 23, 1954. That’s awfully close to fifty years prior to the Oceanic crash. Significant?
Also, why does it take Desmond until the very end of the conversation to acknowledge that he knows Eloise? I think this is probably just a moment of poor writing, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there is some significance? I don’t know.
Anyway, Desmond gets a great line when he finally does speak up, and he seems to be right on the button in terms of describing the situation. “These people are just using us, playing some kind of game, and we are just the pieces.”
Desmond leaves. Sun leaves. Ben leaves. And eventually Jack is in the church by himself, thinking about the cryptic Biblical yarn that Ben has spun for him.
And now, here comes the under-delivering part of the episode. The whole bit with Ray was interesting, but really unnecessary at this point. I had heard rumors that Ray would be playing a bigger role, but either the rumors were wrong or the payoff is going to take a while to arrive.
My point is that they didn’t do enough to make it seem like Ray was important beyond being a plot device to get Jack a pair of his father’s shoes. And if all he was was a plot-point, why introduce him at all? Why not just have Jack’s mom, who we’ve seen before, find a pair of Christian’s shoes tucked away in some deep, dark corner of the closet.
The bit with Kate at night was aggravating, too. What the hell happened to Aaron? And what the hell happened to Kate to make her whole attitude change so damned fast? I don’t understand why we needed to see them sleep together again, except maybe to sate the Jack-Kate “shippers” before launching into a Sawyer-Kate renaissance back on the island. Why not just have Kate show up at the airport like everyone else and have them have that same pre-schtupping conversation there, where the additional pressure of not making a scene would have made things all the more intense?
Of course, the unanswered Kate questions set up the fact that we’re not going to get answers about how anyone except Jack ended up on the plane, so this section wasn’t all bad. As I said above, the approach here does set them up for many flashbacks to come. But I’m not sure it was the right approach.
Anyway, great bits from the mid-section of this episode: The white tennis shoes worn by Christian on the island are finally explained. Oh, and Ben looks like he’s had the shit beaten out of him again, which is the way Ben should almost always look.
Final Boarding Call
As clunky as the middle of this episode felt at times, the beginning and the ending made up for it. Once Jack gets to the airport and starts seeing everyone else arrive, things really pick up.
- Why is Sayid in handcuffs?
- Are Sayid’s guard and the random condolences dude who was behind Jack in line going to become Nikki and Paulo v. 2.0? Do they have stories? I pray that they don’t, because I don’t really care, and I don’t think there’s room for them.
- How did Hurley get out of jail? Who convinced him to get on the plane? And how did he come to own a guitar?
- Why does Sayid seem nervous to see Jack?
- Was there a secret story behind how Sun got to the plane? Or was there nothing more to her story than we saw in the previous episode?
- Is Ben really serious when he says “Who cares?” in response to Jack’s question about all the other people on the plane, or is he just fucking with the Doc?
It’s amazing to me how much of the original flight is recreated, and it feels to me like a lot of orchestrating went on. Frank, the man who was supposed to pilot the original flight, is piloting this one. Hurley’s got a guitar. Someone’s in handcuffs. There’s a body in the belly of the plane. So… the question is: who did the orchestrating? Is Ben alone responsible for all of this?
I actually don’t think so. I think Ben was busy trying to kill Penny and subsequently getting the shit kicked out of him by Desmond. But if Ben was busy, who was doing the organizing?
Sun and her pal Charles Widmore, perhaps?
Return to Neverland
They flash onto the island, almost as if the island reaches out its tentacles when it senses them. The sound and lighting effects all very purposely recall what the Left Behinders have been dealing with for the whole first part of the season. And that leads me to believe that the plane didn’t crash.
What I still haven’t quite figured out is what happened to Frank, Sayid, Ben, and Sun? Were they just set down on a different part of the island? Or were they scattered to a different time? I’m leaning toward the latter theory. And I think John’s body ended up with them. But we’ll see.
In any event, the last moments of this episode were amazing. A pristine Dharma van? Jin in a Dharma jumpsuit? WTF?!? Are they all trapped in the 70s or early 80s? Give me more Lost, and give it to me now.