If there was ever any question whether “Lost” was the best show on television right now, tonight’s episode surely quieted its detractors. Arguably a weaker episode compared to the others this season, it was still a solid hour that not only answered more of our questions about the island, but also introduced a few new ones that, thankfully, we should know the answer to in a matter of weeks, and not years. While the Islanders have been enjoying their month in the limelight, however, it was only a matter of time before the A-Team became the stars of the show once again. And as we all knew was bound to happen, they’ve finally made it back to the island. Well, Jack, Kate and Hurley, at least, though much like the episode, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.
46 hours earlier, Jack seemed like the only safe bet to return. His meeting with Mama Faraday probably wasn’t the most encouraging to anyone still on the fence (especially after Desmond’s fervent warning), but I feel like that whole scene was more for the audience’s benefit than the characters. After all, it’s the viewer who cares the most about how this whole world operates (Jack was going to return to the island no matter what), and Eloise quickly proved that she is her son’s mother with a mouthful of scientific gibberish sure to confuse anyone that wasn’t listening carefully.
From what I gathered, the strange underground station they were standing in was called The Lamp Post. (Apparently, Dharma had a thing for silly nicknames even before they arrived on the island.) The station is how the scientists originally found the island, what with it being built over a pocket of magnetic energy, much like the island itself. It wasn’t until they stopped trying to find where the island should be and looked where it would be that they actually located it. You see, the island is constantly moving (though I don’t believe she meant through time, like it’s doing now), and in order to get back, the Oceanic Six have to enter through a dimensional window that can only be accessed at a certain place during a certain time. In this case, it’s via a flight from Los Angeles to Guam.
Before Jack heads to the airport, though, he picks up Locke’s body from the butcher’s. Ben was originally supposed to take care of that, but he calls Jack last minute asking him to do it instead. Curiously, when Ben finally did board the plane, all bloodied and bruised, not a single person asked him what the hell happened. Was it Sayid who did the beating, and if not, why was he being escorted by a federal marshal? It all seemed a little suspect to me, but the scenes at the airport were still the highlight of the show. It was really cool to see everyone reunited under some very awkward circumstances, from Kate randomly ditching Aaron to Hurley doing a little damage control by buying up as many seats as he could. (On a side note, I loved that he was reading a Spanish edition of “Y: The Last Man.”)
Hurley was clearly thinking about saving lives when that was the last thing on Ben’s mind. Of course, they probably all thought that the plane was going crash, so when Jack asks him “And the other people on this plane, what’s going to happen to them?,” Ben casually replies, “Who cares?” Some people probably took this as yet another sign of Ben just being Ben, but after Jack, Kate and Hurley suddenly awoke to find themselves on the island without actually crashing, it seemed to me like maybe they were just transported the moment they passed through the “window.” Again, this is something that probably won’t be fully explained until we find out what happened to everyone else. And that includes (a clean shaven) Frank Lapidus, who just happened to be the pilot of Flight 316. You’ve gotta love the “Oh shit” face he gave Jack when he suddenly realized what was about to happen: “Wait a second, we’re not going to Guam, are we?”
What I’m curious to find out is why they must take a plane to get there again. Is that the only way to reach the island, or is that just part of the rules? Eloise explains that they must do everything in their power to make the flight as close to the original one as possible, but if it truly is all about science and not fate, then why do Jack and the others have to trick the island into letting them come back? Additionally, does anyone who’s ever been to the island automatically return (like Ben and Lapidus), or does it only work for those from the Oceanic crash? I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough, but judging from the two new faces sitting with them in first class (one of which happened to be the underrated Saïd Taghmaoui), I’d bet on the former.