Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Believe in LOST, Episode 5.06 - "316"


I wish you believed in life, believed in fate.
- Aimee Mann, (Believed You Were) Lucky

Better late than never! Below are my initial notes about last night's new episode. It was easily one of my favorites from this season. The powers that be have seriously upped the ante and are providing some of the most compelling, mind-boggling television I've ever had the pleasure of watching and experiencing.

AJIRA FLIGHT 316

The concept of recreating the circumstances from Oceanic flight 815 is brilliant. I love how they had Sayid in custody (like Kate), Locke in the coffin (like Christian), Hurley reading a graphic novel (like he was before 815), Lapidus piloting the flight (as he was supposed to with 815), etc.

Will there be actual wreckage, or were those fated passengers somehow just safely transported from inside the plane down to the island?

Given Hawking's research and revelations about event windows opening up to provide routes back to the island, isn't it more than likely that the passengers of Flight 815 were specifically chosen to take that flight and wind up on the island the first time around?

Is there an actual connection between Ajira and Oceanic airlines?

JOHN 3:16

Admittedly, I am not very religious so I had to look this up. Most you are probably familiar with John 3:16 in the Bible:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

There are myriad ways to interpret that as it relates to Lost and this episode. Let's start with the obvious; John is Locke, and his letter expressed regret that Jack never believed in him.

Ben's tale about Thomas the doubting Apostle would be Jack in this case. In addition, in the Bible quote above...'him' could be Locke, Jacob or even the island. I'm sure I'm missing other elements from both Ben's story and the biblical reference of the episode title, so feel free to enlighten me.

LAMP POST

Lamp Post is an anagram for Map Plots. Coincidence?

That there is a Lamp Lighter in the book The Little Prince was not lost on me either.

Is Charles Widmore funding Hawking's work in that station, like he was for Faraday's research?

Are there other off island Dharma stations? Were they also built over pockets of electromagnetic energy? If the people who built it were only interested in the island, what purpose would other stations serve back in the real world? Let's not forget about the faith healer in Australia where Bernard took Rose to heal her cancer...there was electromagnetic activity beneath his place at Ayers Rock.

We know that the Orchid and Swan stations had serious levels of energy brewing beneath them, and that the Tempest contained lethal gases. Were there also pockets of various elements beneath the rest of the hatches on the island?

Penny Widmore knew to look for an electromagnetic anomaly to find the location of the island. Was she aware of or assisted by anyone? Clearly her father did not want her to reunite with Desmond, and Hawking warned Desmond that Penny wasn't his future, so that leaves...Faraday. Perhaps he visited/informed her in the past or before leaving for the island with the Freighter Four.

I've posed this question before...with all of the new technology, why is the Lamp Post equipped with archaic computers from an earlier era? Is that the only way to compute the event windows with the pendulum?

OCEANIC 6 CHILDREN

It is ironic and kind of surprising that so many struggled to have children on the island, and yet two of the O6 abandon their kids to return there. Yes, I realize that Aaron is not Kate's son. It's all about context right now.


SIMON'S BUTCHER SHOP

It is NOT a coincidence that Charlie Pace's father was a butcher...named Simon. Ben's friend Jill was storing Locke in the coffin in Los Angeles.

BEN

Where did Bug Eyes disappear to right before flight 316...flashed and/or crashed?

He went to see an "old friend" to tie up a loose end. Did he return battered because:
  • He shifted back in time to the island when the Losties first captured him in the net, or when Jack beat him up before leaving the island...to change the rules himself
  • He went after Penny Widmore, as promised (because Charles Widmore changed the rules and killed his daughter Alex)...and Daddy W intervened
  • He arranged for Sayid to be arrested and placed under custody to somehow be escorted onto Ajira flight 316, in order to replicate Kate's situation on Flight 815
On the flight, Ben was reading Ulysses...which, among other things, directly relates to his pursuit of Penny Widmore. The book invokes Homer's Odyssey and the character Penelope, who:
  • Has one son
  • Waited a very long time for her husband to reappear
  • Fought off 108 potential suitors
BENTHAM/LOCKE

Are there ramifications for Locke's island leadership or was he allowed to die off island because:

a) he didn't actually kill his father as a sacrifice, as instructed
b) he didn't turn the frozen donkey wheel the first time, as instructed?

So the island lets him die temporarily, for the cause.

Who places the obit after his death, and why? Was it to notify/warn the O6?

I also really love that Locke will literally walk a mile in Christian's shoes upon his return to the island. The real question is, will Locke take on a similar role...advising the island's inhabitants as Jacob's mouthpiece?

I was just thinking about this last night, when my friend and fellow Lost fan Doug emailed the photos to me...is it a consistency error that Bentham now has facial hair in the coffin, or does it signify his journey back to life upon island re-entry/re-animation? I will be addressing Locke's life and death as Bentham in a separate blog before next week's episode...

Anyone else hoping that Jack would discover that Locke has 4 toes when he put Christian's shoes on him?

CHARLES WIDMORE

If he and Eloise are still in contact (which is likely because he gave Desmond her whereabouts) after all these years, isn't it likely that he's aware of Flight 316? And if so, why isn't he trying to get back to the island that way? Could that mysterious new passenger be working for him? Was Widmore somehow able to successfully plant a spy among that flight, someone he knew would survive the 'crash?'

Was his race around the world really a ruse and attempt to find the island?

Has he funded other modes of transportation that have tried to get there, in addition to the freighter (Henry Gale's hot air balloon, Rousseau's scientist crew, etc.)?

CLAIRE

Dead or not, will she appear and ask about Aaron now that the group is back?

DANIEL FARADAY

We don't know how old he is, so could he have been the one who figured out that the island was moving and how to predict where?

DESMOND

The island isn't done with Desmond yet. Is that because, according to Faraday, he is "uniquely and miraculously special?" What does Desmond have to do before the island is done with him, and does that mean Desmond will meet his end upon completion of said tasks? Does the island require baby Charlie there to replace him?

Given that Desmond is special, and that the island is very interested in such individuals [see: Walt]...it is starting to look like Libby (as evil twin or cuckoo for cocoa puffs Elizabeth) was working on behalf of the island or Widmore; she's the one who gave Desmond her deceased husband's boat to get there, conveniently when he needed one for Widmore's race.

ELOISE HAWKING

Why is it that SHE knows about his death and also has Locke's alleged suicide note?

How long after she left the island at an unknown age (if in fact she is Ellie) did she become involved with the Lamp Post?

FRANK LAPIDUS

Was Lapidus hired by Ajira with that future flight in mind? Were 'they' aware that it would be an Ajira flight that would take the Losties back to the island?

Does he return to the island too, or is he just piloting the plane with fewer passengers?

Did he shave and give up the booze like Jack, in order to get this gig?

HURLEY

I assume that Ghost Charlie told him about the Ajira Flight, because Hurley appeared to have Charlie's guitar with him. If Hurley was instructed to bring everything in the world that meant something to him when he went back to the island, it makes sense that he'd bring his buddy's guitar. I have a feeling that the only reason Hurley agreed to go back was because he promised Charlie he'd look after Claire.

Why couldn't Hurley swim all of a sudden, upon landing back on the island? I realize that he was supposed to be scared, but I kept thinking about the time he ran and jumped into the ocean without a problem.

JACK

Why was he surprised to hear that Locke had killed himself? I thought it said as much in Bentham's obit (something about hanging from a beam).


The painting in his apartment reminded me of Ben and the Others' creepy cult island funeral wear.


JIN


Will he be upset or relieved to find out that Sun did not bring Ji Yeon back with her?

He appeared in the Dharma van alone, armed and not under supervision...what would make Jin work for them, at least temporarily? How long had he been stuck in that era? How did he explain how he got to the island? Was he brainwashed, a la Karl in Room 23?

I know he lowered his gun when Hurley said his name, but are we sure that he recognized Hurley, Jack and Kate? In theory, he should. However, he may have lowered the weapon in a surprise reaction to them knowing his name.

His Dharma jumpsuit may have a new logo which we have not seen...

KATE

Given that she made a deal at her trial to stay in the state as part of her probation...it is doubtful that she alerted the authorities to her pending trip by handing Aaron over to Child Protective Services. So, possible (or ridiculous) arrangements she made for Aaron may have included:
  • Claire's mom
  • Cassidy (Sawyer's baby mama to Clementine; she bonded w/her over a con before the first crash)
  • Her mom
She's seemingly miserable about giving up Aaron to return to the island, but shouldn't she be a tad exciting about reuniting with Sawyer? Perhaps she never actually followed through with the favor he'd asked her (presumably about his daughter Clementine), and is dreading telling him that news.

When she said "why hold onto something that makes you sad?" was she referring to Sawyer, Jack or Aaron?

So much for the old 'live together, die alone' mantra. Her curt response that being "on the same plane doesn't make us together" was cold. In my opinion, Kate Austen continues to be one of the most emotionally stunted and damaged female characters on the small screen in recent memory.

MATTHEW ABADDON

I seem to ask this every week, but...what exactly is his role in all of this? Does he work for Oceanic as he's claimed, or Widmore, Ajira, etc.?

RAY (Jack's grandfather)

He packed a suitcase and said "one of these times, I'm actually gonna get away. They won't ever find me either." That struck me for two reasons. First, because it could have been his bag of personal items for a one-way ticket back to the island. And second, because Ben always said that no one will ever find the island (even though we've seen that to be incorrect). Are we headed for a three generation reunion of Shephards on the island?

PARALLELS

Back in Season 2 (in 'Orientation'), Locke's girlfriend Helen said the following to him:
"You don't know what's going to happen. None of us do. That's why it's called a leap of faith."
Last night (in '316'), Hawking said the following to Jack:
"Start asking yourself whether or not you believe it's going to work. That's why it's called a leap of faith."
CRAZY THURSDAY THEORY

I realize that they were using a fake newspaper clipping for Bentham's obit, but it did mention that he had a son and I have to believe that it is significant that they chose to include that fact.

I believe that Helen got pregnant before breaking up with Locke, and that their son will join Clementine Ford, Charlie Hume, Ji Yeon Kwan, Aaron Littleton and Walt Lloyd as the sixth member of the Lost Offspring Club; Kids Exceptional (LOCKE) to return to the island in the future.
---

Phew, and wow. What an episode! I can't wait to watch 316 again this weekend; don't be surprised to see further thoughts posted before next week.

I say it every time, but in all sincerity...thank you very much for taking the time to stop by and read my frequently off-kilter stream of consciousness about Lost. It gives me great joy to be able to share and engage with fellow fans.

Have a nice weekend!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

"In my opinion, Kate Austen continues to be one of the most emotionally stunted and damaged female characters on the small screen in recent memory."

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen you make such a blunt statement! Although in many ways it may be true (cf, being non-blunt haha), we don't know why she's so pissed off... I thought that was the most interesting quote of the show, outside of actual plot development - during Oceanic 815 they were on the same plane, the passengers did not know each other, but the extraordinary events made them "together".

ashlie said...

Someone on facebook put up a theory that Kate slept with Jack the night before leaving to try and get pregnant to replicate Claire's situation on 815. Very interesting, I thought.

I agree 100% with your thoughts on Kate. Everytime I think she's not terrible, she proves to be ultra-annoying again. Argh.

I also couldn't help but wonder why Walt wasn't even mentioned. He had been visited by Bentham, and Hurley knew that. No one even thought to call him up? He was on 815, so why wouldn't he have been suggested as being needed for the return? Very odd.

Anonymous said...

I have been grappling with this question since the episode 316 aired. Why did Ben have to move the island if the island is constantly moving (according to Hawkings)? She posed this question to the O6 while speaking with them below the church, "why do you think that you have never been rescued?" And then she made reference to the fact that the island is always moving. What do you think?

I always wait with anticipation for your latest blog entry, it is always a treat. :)


~losttraveler815, aka Kathy

Anonymous said...

I have been grappling with this question since the episode 316 aired. Why did Ben have to move the island if the island is constantly moving (according to Hawkings)? She posed this question to the O6 while speaking with them below the church, "why do you think that you have never been rescued?" And then she made reference to the fact that the island is always moving. What do you think?

I always wait with anticipation for your latest blog entry, it is always a treat. :)


~losttraveler815, aka Kathy

Aunt J-ha said...

Honestly, it was my least favorite episode of the season. Having Jack's grand-dad suddenly show up with a pair of daddy's shoes was forced and kind of ridiculous. There must have been a better way to introduce this concept to us. Kate's abrupt change of heart with no explanation of Aaron's whereabouts was disturbing to me...It reminds me of how I felt at the end of season 1 when the others stole Walt. I did enjoy the boarding of the plane scenes and catching the ties to the Oceanic 815 flight. Despite any of my complaints, I have faith in the writers and look forward to all my questions being answered. I'm certain I will be thrilled and stunned in the end.

mikeo75 said...

Lamp Post to me is from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe...it's almost like that room was the Wardrobe that led to Narnia.

Shauna said...

I was going to say the same thing, mikeo75.

After walking through the wardrobe into Narnia, Lucy soon comes upon a lamp post. The children also use it as a marker when it's time to go back home. The name Charlotte Staples (CS) Lewis seems to be another nod to the Narnia series.

Kalionan said...

I'd like to suggest another possibility that Kate left Aaron with Sun's Mom. There was a very pointed conversation between Sun and her daughter describing the new friend that she found for her. I think it's possible that Kate and Sun made arrangements for Aaron to stay with Sun's Mom.

cinematicallycorrect said...

Jack is definitely who Ben is really referring to when he told him about Thomas.

I completely agree with your opinion of Kate. What a weak character she has become! As soon as something bad happens, she runs into the arms of Jack or Sawyer, depending on who is closer. Wasn't it better when she was tough?

Verloren said...

First of all, a great post once again. I love reading your thoughts in between my first and second viewing of a new episode. Your (spoilerfree) blog has really become a part of my weekly Lost routine. Thank you for that!

I agree with the above that the Lamp post is probably a reference to Narnia. I do think that Jin recognised his friends, because of the glimpse of a smile you see at the end of the scene.

There are a few things I find remarkable about this episode. The first is the scene with Jack's granddad. To me the scene really seems to stand out from the rest of the storyline (it can't be just to get the shoes?) and I wonder if the Sheppard-familiy involvement to the island is in fact even larger than yet revealed.

Second the girl in the background while Jack was having a drink at the bar. It reminded me of his encounter with Anna-Lucia at the airport and I wonder if we will see her stranded on the island later on.

Last, Ben's 'joke' on the plane that his mother had thought him how to read. It seems a strange joke to make for someone who's mother died at his birth. Is there maybe more to it?

Nurby said...

the comments of the lamp post and narnia made me wonder what the significance the lamp post was in narnia. I started to look it up and discovered that in The Magician's Nephew is where the lamp post originates on narnia. Ends up the story has to do with each time the kids are wearing rings and jumping into ponds they keep getting transported to different universes. I'm sure it means nothing, but seemed interesting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magician%27s_Nephew

Nurby said...

One more thought before I need to sleep. For the john 3:16 verse, if John is the one it is about and he is the begotten son, then maybe are we misled on who Locke's father really was. I wish I could rewatch the episode when Locke is supposed to kill his father. Maybe in the end that wasn't his father??

Anonymous said...

Nurby, it would be nice if that person weren't his dad, but don't forget--this father (Cooper?)found him through the crazy mother and made sure he would be a compatible match for a kidney. Nope, I think he's the real deal. (poor Locke)

Cricket Here

Anonymous said...

A comment about the Island possibly being a '3-generational' home of the Shepards--That was a big speculation when it was heard (pre-316) that we would see Jack's grandad on the episode. But, I am wondering if that weren't just a 'red herring' thrown in to get us buzzing. I think this may simply have been an easy way for Jack to come up with something of his dad's without his having to provide a lengthy explanation. ("Uh, gee Mom, I need these old shoes because....")An old senile granddad takes his word without any big question marks.

Cricket here

Anonymous said...

My last thought was about Aaron's where-abouts. Jo, you mentioned 3 plausible explanations. I was leaning in the direction of Clair's mom or Cassidy. (why else would Cassidy even be in the whole big picture--and as we suspect, in contact with Kate?)And yet--as hard as it may have been to leave him behind, possibly never to see him again, WHY would Kate even consider doing this in the first place? What convinced her at the last minute that she should go back? ... I think Aaron's well-being may have at the very least,have been threatened, if not outright been kidnapped. If she didn't do exactly what (Ben?) said,she would be putting little Aaron's life in jepordy. I think this may be why she would not discuss the situation with Jack. It would risk his returning, her returning and Aaron's life.

BUT...I was truly annoyed when she started passionately kissing Jack. What??? You feel all hot and bothered when your child is in danger??? Now, THAT was the big stretch for me.

Cricket here.

kissmyapocalypse said...

Agreed 100% about Kate. I just ditched my baby, let's shed all responsibilities and boff! What a crazy chick.

Loved your bit about the "LOCKE" kids. haha!

Also, I didn't notice "Bentham" having facial hair in the coffin, but I think in real life(?) your hair continues to grow after you're dead. Gross.

Anonymous said...

One last pet peeve before tonight's epi--getting this off my chest while it's still relevant:

Does anyone else get put off by Ben's pious yammering about faith and the Bible -- when he'd just as soon stab you in the back, lie and do any other hainous deed to get what he wants?

Cricket here.

The Rush Blog said...

I hope that Kate had left Aaron with Carole Littleton. If she had left Aaron with someone other than his grandmother . . . I'll be pissed off.

However, I suspect that she did leave him with Claire's mom.