Getting “Lost”: 316 Review

Jack: I'd like a "window" seat, please.
Jack: I'd like a "window" seat, please.

It’s a good time to be a Lost fan. We’re finally getting some answers this season — so many, in fact, that we don’t even mind that just as many new questions are being raised. Plus, coming off last night’s episode, which was undeniably awesome, we have “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” to look forward to next week. When we spoke to Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof before the season began, that’s the episode they pointed to as potentially being as mind-blowing “The Constant” was last season. But enough about next week, let’s talk about last night…

johnnysweeptheleg’s Lost in a Moment:

Ever since Bearded Transient Jack slurred to Kate, “We gotta go back!” a season ago, Lostees have been waiting for this moment. And last night, we finally got it – right at the start of the episode, no less, with Jack opening his eyes to find that he’s once again welcome to the jungle.

It doesn’t take long for writers to produce our first question of the night, when Jack clenches a portion of a handwritten letter that says only, “I wish …” While first instinct is to assume that ‘90s rapper Skee-Lo wrote Jack this letter, and that the rest of it reads, “I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller, I wish I had girl who looked good, I would call her …” we learn that our instincts are wrong. But more on that letter, later.

After teasing us with a Jack, Hurley, Kate reunion on the island, it’s another trip 46 hours into the past to see just how we got here, and 46 minutes of television until we get back to the island again.

Note: If you are prone to headaches, nosebleeds, and you look like Eric Stoltz (I’m looking at you, Charlotte), you probably don’t want to watch the beginning of this episode. Eloise plays the role of Basil Exposition, providing more backstory answers in five minutes than we’ve gotten through the last five years of Lost.

Deep breath … so Eloise’s Los Angeles hideaway is really The Lamp Post, the original Dharma Initiative location, and the way they originally found the island back in the 50s. It’s one of multiple places in the world with such high electromagnetic movement. Someone who is only known as “he” discovered using the pendulum to determine where the windows are, which open up for limited amounts of time and take you to the island. This is the only way to get to the island, since the island is always moving. Evidently, the island is the child of Army parents. No wonder the island is so angsty. Every time it gets settled in and makes friends, it has to move again. But in its diary, the island promises it won’t continue the vicious cycle with its own children, when it has some. And exhale.

Desmond has had enough of Eloise’s monologue and storms out before he’s able to hear that Ajira Airways Flight 316 from Los Angeles to Guam will fly everyone right over the island’s open window.

But there’s a catch. There’s always a catch. The in-flight movie, unfortunately, is CastAway. Oh, that, and the island will only bring them in, if they recreate the original doomed Oceanic flight. If they don’t have everyone aboard, the results will be … unpredictable.

Behind closed doors, Eloise tells Jack that Locke left a suicide note. Addressed to Jack. Locke has become Christian in this flight recreation, and according to Eloise, must be given something of Christian’s to bring along. Now it just sounds like Eloise is making stuff up to see how gullible everyone really is. Because, let’s be honest, Americans will believe anything a person with a British accent says. The island still seems to be intervening, as Jack gets a call from his grandfather’s nursing home, notifying him that Grandpa Ray has tried to escape again. Jack fateful visit with Grandpa Ray produces a pair of shoes that used to be Christian’s.

Like any return from a nursing home, Jack goes home and needs to visit with Dr. Feelgood. But before he can reach the end of the bottle, he hears noise coming from his bedroom. It’s Kate, lying on his bed. But this Kate is obviously a shell of her former self, and has either seen, heard, or done something bad. She tells Jack she’ll go to the island, but when Jack asks for Aaron’s whereabouts, she tells him he is to never ask about Aaron again if he wants her to go back to the island. Seeing that he’s about to get a little pre-flight nookie, Jack does what any guy would do, and agrees to anything that Kate says. “Totally. No more Aaron talk. Hell, I won’t even talk about Hank Aaron, anymore. And that gaunt, lifeless look in your eyes doesn’t make you look strung out. It makes you look … independent. Sexy, even!”

The next morning, Jack gets a phone call from Ben, who chose to spend his final hours making good on a promise to “an old friend” tying up a loose end, rather than participating in soul-crushing sex. Ben tells Jack he got sidetracked and needs Jack to pick Locke’s body up at Simon’s Butcher Shop.

Note to self: NEVER BUY MEAT FROM SIMON’S BUTCHER SHOP. Soylent Green is people!

What Jack doesn’t know is that on the other end of the phone is a bloodied and beaten up Ben on a payphone outside the docks where we have to assume Penny and Desmond are docked. Last season, Ben promised Whidmore that he’d find Penny and hurt her, and with Desmond in town, I think it’s safe to say Ben connected the dots and attempted to carry out his promise. Can’t wait to see the flashback of how Ben got his arse handed to him. Did Ben get Not Penny’s Boat-slapped, by Des? Penny? Or, both?

Jack visits Jill at the Butcher shop, and all I can think of is the old Andrew Dice Clay nursery rhyme about Jack and Jill going up a hill, both with a buck and a quarter. Jill leaves Jack alone with Locke, which affords him the opportunity to put Christian’s shoes on Locke, and laugh aloud at the absurdity of the situation. Without reading the letter, Jack places it back into Locke’s casket and tells him he’s heard all he needs to hear from Locke already.

Finally, we’re ready to re-create the Oceanic flight. At the airport, Jack is warned that the casket will have to be searched for security reasons. After hearing this, a gentleman gives Jack his condolences. We’ll later see this man on Flight 316. Will he be Sayid in the recreation? Speaking of, Sayid is led through the airport in handcuffs by a female Marshall. He has become Kate in the reboot. Hurley appears with a guitar, making him Charlie in this version of the tour. And nearly missing the flight, Ben shows up, making him the Hurley of this revamped Oceanic flight. Albeit, Hurley after the Jarod Subway diet.

Prior to takeoff, the stewardess tells Jack something fell out of the casket during inspection, and hands him the letter from Locke. Before returning to his seat, the pilot comes on introduces himself to the passengers. It’s the one and only, Frank Lepidas! Having seen the original Airplane, Jack asks to see the pilot with the hopes that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is also up there. Stewardess says she can’t do that for security reasons, but she can have the pilot come out. Frank sees Jack, Kate, Jin, Sayid, and Hurley, and delivers the line of the year. “We’re not going to Guam, are we?”

Once the flight takes off, Jack, finally begins buying into the notion that maybe John needs him to read the letter. This statement of belief and faith essentially solidifies Jack’s place as Locke on this flight. Which, by process of elimination, does this make Kate the new Jack? Sawyer? Vincent The Dog? Whatever. Jack finally opens the letter and reads it. “Jack, I wish you had believed me. JL” At the bottom of the letter, Locke has a “Check here if you like me” with a YES box and NO box. Before he can fill in a response, the plane hits the warp window coordinates, and after a bright flashy time travel light, we end up at the beginning of the episode, with Jack opening his eyes. Do you know where you are? You’re in the jungle, baby!

Jack and team are about to look for the rest of the passengers, when a van pulls up and a Dharma-suited man jumps out with a gun. This sharp dressed man? Jin!

This week’s episode was titled 316. And it was heavy on the John Locke influence. John. Flight 316. John 316. Right? With what looks like John being born again on the island next week … I say sit back, crack open a can of Dharma beer, and get ready for what looks to be a wild episode coming up!

Questions Answered

What happens in 70 hours? According to Eloise Hawking, that’s when the Oceanic 6’s window for returning to the island closes.

What is Ajira Airlines’ connection to the island? Well, apparently the island is one of the many destinations to which Ajira flies. The only trick is, you have to buy a ticket to Guam.

Are Ellie, Ms. Hawking and Daniel Faraday’s mother all one in the same? Well, it appears we’ve established that two of the three are. Ms. Hawking made no effort to correct Desmond after he referred to her as Faraday’s mum.

Will Ben and Penny encounter one another in Los Angeles? If you’ve got another theory on whom Ben went to see in order to fulfill a promise to an old friend, we’d like to hear it.

Will Desmond grow his beard back? Is he unable to grow a beard off the island? The second part of this question now seems irrelevant, because — according to Eloise Hawking — while Desmond may be done with the island, the island is not done with him.

Why did Seth Norris pilot Oceanic 815 instead of Frank Lapidus? We’re still not sure, but obviously Mr. Norris was unavailable to fly Ajira 316.

New Questions To Be Asked

Jack, Kate and Hurley made it back to the island — where are the other passengers of Ajira 316?

What year is it on the island now?

Who is the man who created the equations used to find the island?

We know Kate said not to ask, but … what happened to Aaron?

How and why did Hurley get on the plane? (A visit from Charlie perhaps? It would explain the guitar case.)

Why was Sayid being transported to Guam?

Who is this guy?

Check back Tuesday for a preview of next week’s episode, “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham.”

Photo credit: ABC/MARIO PEREZ