Sunday, March 1, 2009

Episode 5.6 "316"

I have to say this was my least favorite episode of the season so far. I mean, it was still good, but overall the characters were developing in unflattering ways and the tone was a little too bleak or something. But, there's a lot of interesting new stuff to talk about, so here goes:

THE LAMP POST : The new Dharma station is named The Lamppost, which is a direct nod to C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series. In Narnia, the lamp post was seen in the middle of the woods by the kids as they first entered Narnia through the magic wardrobe. The Lamp Post is an appropriate name, since this room helps you find the island. And it sounds better than a station called “The Wardrobe”.

THE ISLAND WAS ALWAYS MOVING. Huh? Ms. Hawking tells everyone that the island is always moving, and that’s why they were never rescued. I had to watch it again to see if she meant moving in time, or just around the globe. But she meant around the globe. The Dharma folks were just using the pendulum to figure out what time the island would show up at what location. So who built the pendulum? My guess is Daniel, because Ms. Hawking sounded a touch proud of the “brilliant man” who built it. The island moving around led me to the worst possible Lost theory of all time, however: Is the island actually the enchanted moving village from the musical Brigadoon? I hope not.

So, Ms. Hawking said there were pockets of energy all over the world that were connected, and the island was just one of them (as was the church in which they met, or at least the ground on which the church was built). Obviously the island is a really important energy pocket, but does the fact that there are other pockets mean that there are possibly new weird places like the island available for future spin-off series? Maybe they can do it like the MTV’s roving Real World series and have spin-off shows like LOST: SPOOKY NY LOFT or LOST: CREEPY SCOTTISH GLEN. That last one actually sounds pretty good.

THE REALLY BORING BINDER – Ms. Hawking gives Jack a binder of all the flights flying around the world. Is this binder how the Dharma Initiative tracks planes in order to somehow send their “supply drops”? The supply drops have always bugged me. Why wouldn’t whoever’s sending them know that the Dharma folks are all dead? Who knows. I’m going to get an answer on those supply drops one day or I will initiate the first ever lawsuit of a viewer vs. a TV show.

DESMOND’S OUT: And, he asks some good questions. Why would Jack trust Ben or Ms. Hawking? If they’re so eager for him to get back, why wouldn’t he use that leverage to get some freaking answers? And also, why doesn’t Ms. Eloise Hawking want to hear more about her son? She looked pretty uninterested in the topic when Desmond brought it up. Maybe it’s because she found out Daniel once named his lab rat after her. Cue swelling trumpet music, cut to black and…. LOST.

JOHN THE PROXY: So the return flight is flight 316, and it has a dead John on it. Obviously that’s a reference to John 3:16 from the Bible, a verse that says God loved us so much that he took it upon himself to wear your dad’s old shoes in order to help you re-crash yourself onto a crazy magical island. Or something like that. Obviously they’re trying to paint Locke as a Jesus figure, sacrificing himself to save the rest of them. Which is interesting. On a side note, the bit with the shoes kind of bugged me. Why wouldn’t Jack just give Locke the watch that his dad gave him back in this mobisode? I thought that was possibly the point of that storyline. Weird. Maybe he pawned the watch at some point (along with his razors) to purchase gallons and gallons of alcohol and illegal meds.

LOCKE’S NOTE: I also thought this was really annoying on Jack’s part. If you know your friends are on the island and need your help, why wouldn’t you want to read what Locke had to say? What if it were specific instructions? “Dear Jack, when you get to the island, look out for the time skipping thing, and don’t go down in any wells because you might jump back in time to before the well was built and… “ etc. Seemed dumb to me. Turns out, Jack was afraid that Locke might blame him. Which also kind of turned out to be true. “I wish you’d believed me.”, Locke wrote. Guilt trip from beyond the grave. Nice, Locke, nice. Your noble last words are basically, “I told you so.”

BEN’S SERMON: “Who is Ms. Hawking?” Jack asks, sitting in the church with Ben. It’s bold new move for a character on the show to ask a fairly straightforward question about what’s happening. So Ben punishes him for his directness by delivering a sermon on the apostle Thomas. It’s a slightly creepy sermon, using an odd pronunciation of the possessive form of Jesus, but Jack seems to like it. Then, to destroy any credibility he might have as Jack’s new pastor, Ben immediately goes off to try and kill Penny.

BEN VS. PENNY So, obviously Ben was heading out to kill Widmore’s daughter. But we have no idea what happened. He called Jack from a boatyard, so either he killed both Desmond and Penny, or tried to kill Penny and got thrashed by Desmond. I’m hoping for “thrashed by Desmond”, although Ben killing Penny would certainly bring Desmond back to the island for revenge. But I think that the writers have spent too much time building up the love story between Penny and Desmond to kill off Penny now.

So, eventually the episode gets to everyone converging on flight 316. Let’s look at the members of this return flight and some theories on their motivations:

SUN: Sun‘s been getting less and less likable this season and now she doesn’t even give a second thought to leaving her daughter behind? She’s apparently totally fine with allowing her daughter to be raised by a known mobster. I definitely think there’s something to the theory that offspring Aaron and Ji Yeon will meet up later in life and go to the island to find their parents.

KATE: Kate somehow got worse this episode, too. Showing up at Jack’s house and walking straight to the bed? Classy. Telling Jack never to ask about his nephew again? Super classy. She was also super rude about the morning coffee for some reason. So what did Kate do with Aaron? Maybe she saw another vision of Claire, and then took Aaron to Claire’s mom and told her the truth. Maybe Claire tells her something happened to Sawyer to motivate her. OR, maybe Aaron got weird special powers like bird-killing Walt had that freaked her out. Or, maybe she just left him at the mall by accident because she sucks so much. Who knows, hopefully we’ll find out soon.

BEN: Why is he allowed to go back to the island? Was he just lying when he told Locke that turning the wheel meant you could never go back?

SAYID: Why is he in handcuffs and on his way to Guam? Did he kill someone there during his days as Ben’s hitman? What is he looking at in that picture above? Interesting that he had another US Marshall type with him, like Kate did on flight 815.

HURLEY: I loved the bit about Hurley buying up all the available tickets on the flight. But how did he get there? Maybe we’ll learn that Charlie appeared in a vision and told him to come back, and also asked him to bring him a new guitar, hence the guitar case.

FRANK: I’m glad that Frank Lapidus is back. That was probably my favorite part of the episode. Hopefully he won’t suffer the same fate as the flight 815 pilot. By which I mean getting killed off in his first few seconds on Lost and then having to resign himself to becoming a character on Heroes instead.

THE RANDOM DUDE: Oh yeah, there was also a new character sitting next to Hurley on the flight. The way he talked to Jack at the ticket counter definitely insinuated there was more to come from him.

SEAT BELT SIDE NOTE: If you’re on a flight that you pretty much KNOW is going to crash because you have insider time travel information – then FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELT THE WHOLE FLIGHT. Kate, Hurley…I’m talking to you. Don’t be stupid.

THE OTHER PASSENGERS: Jack asks what’s going to happen to the rest of the passengers, and Ben responds curtly “Who cares?” I think the point of this (besides being funny) is that the writers are making sure we know there are other people on board who could possibly show up on the island later.

WIDMORE THEORY: Ok, so let's say Desmond goes back to Penny after leaving the church. When he gets back to the docks, Widmore and his henchmen are there, trying to get Penny away from Desmond. Desmond confronts Widmore and somehow spills the news that the Losties are headed back to the island. Suddenly, Ben shows up to kill Penny and there’s a big showdown between Widmore’s thugs and Ben. During the skirmish Penny and Desmond escape in the boat. Maybe there's an awesome boat chase scene, I don't know. Later, Widmore tracks down the flight that Jack’s on and sends some of his own people along for the ride. These henchmen end up on the island and become a new threat to the Losties living there. And maybe it was Widmore’s people in the Outrigger Canoe a couple of episodes ago shooting at Sawyer’s group. THE END.

DID THE PLANE EVEN CRASH? I don’t know, but there was a flash of light, which means the Losties traveled through time. Hence Jin showing up at the end in the 70s Dharma van wearing a Dharma jumpsuit.

JIN IN A BUS: So why was Jin working for Dharma? Did Locke fix the wheel last episode, causing time to stop jumping and stranding Jin, Sawyer, Daniel, Miles and Juliet in the 70s or 80s? Is that when Daniel will go to the site of the wheel, like in the season opener? Did they all start working for Dharma as a ruse for some reason?

PREVIEW FOR NEXT EPISODE/SPOILERS: So we see right off the bat in the 10 second preview that Locke is back and wearing a hood. We see him talking to Sayid’s police officer lady on the island. Then we see him lying in the road about to get hit by a car. In that shot, he’s wearing the clothes he was wearing when he turned the wheel, so I think he’s unfortunate enough to have the island spit him out in the middle of a busy road somewhere. Maybe when you spin the wheel the island drops you off in one of the other magnetic spots around the globe that Ms. Hawking was talking about? If that’s true, then there’s one in Tunisia for sure, where Ben and the Polar bear landed. Next in the preview we get a glimpse of Locke about to hang himself, and, sure enough, it looks like Ben is there encouraging him. So, yet again, Ben was lying when he told Jack he didn’t know that Locke committed suicide. You can’t trust anything Ben says. I bet he really doesn’t even know how to read.

The next episode is entitled “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”.

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