Lost Thoughts: 316

LOOK OUT! Spoilers ahead

I’m sure that everyone noticed, as I did, that tonight’s episode of Lost on ABC was the first since the Pilot not to include any kind of flashback or flashforward. Well, I guess that’s not technically true since the beginning of the episode showed them just moments after Jack, Hurley and Kate returned to the island with the rest of the episode revealing the events that led up to their getting there. But the limited flashbacks made me think that this episode was serving as a hub, or a restarting point for the rest of the series.

Tonight’s episode, “316” began by showing Jack, Hurley and Kate suddenly finding themselves on the island, but quickly flashed back to show us how they got there.

The flashback begins where we left off last week with Jack, Sun, Ben and Desmond speaking with Daniel Faraday’s mother Eloise Hawking. She explains that the island moves through both space and time and that the place she is working, the Lamppost, was created by the Dharma Initiative for the purpose of finding the island. She reveals that she has discovered a time and place where the island will be and she believes that if the “Oceanic 6” are in a plane as it’s flying over, then they will somehow return to the island.

The remainder of tonight’s episode revolved around Jack’s preparations to return to the island, but what really surprised me is that they actually got on the plane and back on the island by the time the episode was over! That was a huge leap forward in the plot in my opinion because I was expecting to have to wait until the end of the season to see how Jack managed to convince everyone that they all needed to go back.

The insertion of Jack’s granddad into the story that seemed to come from out of nowhere. Unless that particular character is going to play a more substantial role in the future, it seems like they could have accomplished the same if jack just went to his apartment and pulled out a shoebox labeled “Dad’s shoes.” Viola! Plot problem fixed… I should have been a writer.

By the way, I think we received a couple of messages that everything Ben says is a lie. Ms. Hawking revealed that Ben was probably lying about not knowing about the Lamppost station and later in the episode when Jack asked Ben on the plane, “How can you read?” and Ben answered, “My mother taught me.” Remember back… Ben’s mother died in childbirth. The man is a habitual liar.

One of my favorite moments on this episode came when Jack was speaking with Frank Lapidus who just happened to be the captain of Flight 316. During the conversation Lapidus looks around and quickly comes to realize that just about everyone from his doomed helicopter flight from the freighter is on his plane and he says, “We’re not going to Guam, are we?”

Once back on the island, the first thing they see is none other than Jin in Dharma duds driving a brand new Dharma VW bus. My theory about this is that when John Locke fixed the frozen donkey wheel last week, the Oceanic survivors remaining on the island were stuck in the time that they just happened to be in and ended up becoming part of Dharma. This also explains how Daniel Faraday appeared at the excavation of the donkey wheel cave in the Orchid Station in the beginning of this season.

But, as the creators of Lost so masterfully do, although they seemed to tidily wrap up getting them back to the island, they left many questions unanswered. Here are some of the questions this episode has left me with:

  • What made Hurley and Sayid suddenly decide to get on the plane?
  • Who was that lady with Sayid?
  • Who was it that worked over Ben and why didn’t they finish the job?
  • What happened to the plane and all of the other passengers?
  • What happened to Aaron and why won’t Kate talk about it?

I’m confident that all of these questions and more will be answered eventually, and since there is a scheduled end date for the show in 2010, which means that they will actually be able to end the story with plenty of time to tie up all the loose ends. At the very least, now we can have a fairly good idea of what the flashbacks throughout the rest of the season will involve.

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