This episode is Jack-heavy and exposition-heavy. Luckily, we learn a lot and things keep moving forward (or backward, since you never can tell for sure) fairly quickly.
Jack awakes up, on his back, in the bushes. Is this going back to the day of the crash? He hears shouts and takes off through the jungle towards the voice. Coming into a clearing, he sees Hurley flailing in a pool, clutching a guitar case. Like a total action hero, Jack dives off a 40-foot cliff into the pool and tows Hurley, and the guitar case, to shore. I don’t remember this from the pilot. And no, it’s not from the pilot because then Hurley looks at Jack and says, “It worked” and Jack nods at him. They look across the pool and see Kate lying on some rocks, unconscious. Jack shakes her awake. “We’re back,” he says. Kate: “What happened?” Methinks we’re about to find out.
Los Angeles, the end of last episode. Eloise Hawking takes Sun, Jack, Ben and darling Desmond downstairs to her secret lair under the church. The music is quite ominous and there’s a Dharma insignia on a heavy metal door. Behind the door is the laboratory. In the center of the laboratory is a pendulum. Eloise tells the assembled that the Dharma Initiative called this place “the Lamppost” and it was here that they found the Island.
Jack asks Ben if he knows about the Lamppost; Ben says no; Eloise says that Ben is probably lying. A U.S. Army photo of the Island dated 1954 distracts Jack. Eloise exposits that this room is on top of a pocket of electromagnetic energy which is connected to other pockets around the world. The Dharma Initiative was only looking for the Island, however. The pendulum came into play when “some fellow” figure that they should look for where the Island was going, not where it was. The Losties are like, um, where it’s going? Eloise: “Of course. Why do you think you were never rescued?” Anyhoo, “this fellow” started calculating equations – who else here thinks the “fellow” is that slippery Daniel Faraday? – to figure out when certain windows in time will open, enabling people to get to the Island. Eloise tells them that their specific window will close in 36 hours.
Desmond interrupts here, saying (in essence) are you people fucking nuts? You’re going back to the Island willingly? Sun: “Yes.” Desmond thinks they’re all a bunch of nutters and delivers his message to Eloise: Daniel sent him to tell her that the folks stuck on the Island need her help. Eloise: “I am helping, dear.” And when Desmond turns to leave, she tells him that the Island is not done with him yet. Desmond gets pissed, shouting that Eloise cost him four years of his life by telling him that his “purpose” was to go to the Island. He gets up in Jack’s face and growls that the Losties are being used, and to ignore whatever Eloise tells them to do. Jack: * blink *. Desmond stomps out, muttering that he doesn’t care if the Island isn’t done with him – he’s had enough.
Eloise gives Jack a binder, saying that Ajira Airways 316, from L.A. to Guam, will fly through the correct coordinates if they hope for the Island to bring them back. And as many of the Oceanic 6 as possible must be on the flight or results may be “unpredictable.” Jack says that’s it, just get the Oceanic 6 on the flight? Eloise chides him: oh no, that’s not quite it for you, Jack.
WATCHMEN IS COMING!
Next, Eloise takes Jack into her office as what she has to say to him does not concern Ben and Sun. She gives him a sealed envelope containing, she says, John Locke’s suicide note. Jack is shaken, not having known that Locke hung himself. Jack asks why Locke did it. Eloise says that Locke is going to help them get back, being a proxy … for Christian Shepard. To spell it out: because there’s got to be a body in a coffin that the Island is connected to on the plane. Eloise instructs Jack to get something that belonged to Christian and give it to Locke. Understandably, Jack gets quite upset, shouting at how ridiculous this is. Eloise tells him that ridiculous or not, this is a leap of faith.
When Jack comes out, Ben is sitting in the church alone, Sun having left. Jack asks where Locke’s body is. Ben says he’ll pick it up on the way to the airport. Jack asks who Eloise is, and why would she help them. Ben blah blah blah Thomas the Apostle and I tune out, because it’s Bible stuff. And I’m a heathen. “We’re all convinced sooner or later, Jack,” says Ben, and takes off to do a favor for an old friend. “I’ll see you at the airport.”
Jack decides to kill some time in a bar. His scotch-flavored drink is interrupted by a call. Cut to Jack walking into an assisted living facility to find an old guy named Ray. Great, another new character. Apparently Ray is a bit of an escape artist and the facility is having trouble keeping him here. Ah: Ray is Jack’s “granddad” and by “granddad” I mean “plot device.” Jack tells Ray that he thinks he might be going away for a while and won’t be visiting much. While putting some of Ray’s stuff in the closet, Jack finds a pair of shoes that belonged to Christian, and he asks his grandfather if he can have them. “Be my guest,” says Ray, fulfilling his sole purpose on the show.
Later, back at his apartment, Jack is just getting down to drinking in earnest when he hears his door slam. It’s Kate. She’s let herself in and lain down on his bed. “Are you still going back to the Island?” she asks, “Then I’m going with you.” Jack asks where Aaron is. She gets up in his face and snarls that if he wants her to go with him, he’ll never ask her about Aaron again. Okay, says Jack, because he’s whipped. And then they have sex.
The next morning Jack makes coffee. He’s got morning-afterglow. Kate just looks hunted until he remembers that she likes milk and two sugars. Way to drink your coffee like an adult, Kate. She sees Christian’s shoes and smirks that hiking boots would make more sense for the Island. Jack spins some story about why he’s taking the shoes back to the Island but doesn’t tell her the truth – because it’s just too weird.
The phone rings: it’s Ben. He’s calling from a payphone on the waterfront and he is all over bloody. He asks Jack to pick up Locke’s body from the butcher shop. When Jack gets there, Jill is expecting him. Man, Jack is looking OLD under these fluorescent lights. Jill leaves to pull the van around and Jack takes advantage of her absence to switch out Locke’s shoes with Christian’s. I guess they fit. He also tucks Locke’s suicide note, unopened and unread, into Locke’s suit pocket, and saying that he’s already heard everything Locke has to say. I think he should have read the note.
Jack checks in at the airport and is informed that security will have to open the coffin to inspect the body. He’s fine with that, nervous only until he sees Kate show up to check in. He finds Sun in the line to go through security; they both see Sayid being escorted by a terribly familiar looking TSA agent (the actress was recently a cop on some show that got canceled …?); and Hurley is in the waiting room as well. Are we not going to see what transpired to get those two on board with the plan? Maybe in a later episode as this is the Jack Show tonight.
Hurley is reading a Y: the Last Man trade paperback, Spanish translation. (I haven’t read that one yet.) When he hears that there are standby seats available on their flight, he jumps up to inform the agent that he has bought all 78 available seats, not wanting anyone extraneous on the flight. The agent is apprehensive but doesn’t argue with him. Boarding is called. There’s Jack. Sayid, already on the plane with his TSA agent. Sun. Kate, looking totally stressed. Hurley with a guitar. A few extras. And, just as the doors are about to close, bruised and bloody Ben, arm in a sling. Hurley is NOT happy about Ben being here but sucks it up when Jack tells him to chill. The flight attendant hands Jack a folded envelope – it’s Locke’s suicide note that Customs found in his “cargo.” Jack puts it in his pocket and ignores Ben who wants to know what it is. Jack has a question of his own for Ben, however: “What’s going to happen to the other people on this plane?” Ben: “Who cares?” Heh.
Ajira Airways Flight 316 takes off. What – no safety presentation? Kate looks like she’s going to upchuck. When the fasten-seat-belts light goes off, Jack moves up to sit with her. It’s a frickin’ empty plane, Jack, you could have sat there to begin with. He marvels that Hurley and Sayid showed up but Kate doesn’t really want to talk.
The captain comes on over the intercom: it’s Frank J. Lapidus! Wow – totally didn’t see that coming! Neither did Jack, who asks the flight attendant if he can speak with Frank, seeing how they’re old friends and all. The flight attendant says she’ll deliver Jack’s message and whaddya know, ol’ Frank comes out of the cockpit. They chat, friendly-like, until Frank sees who all is on this goddamn plane. He’s not stupid: “We’re not goin’ to Guam, are we?”
As the flight continues, Jack gets more and more nervous. Looking over at Ben who is reading James Joyce’s Ulysses, he asks: “how can you read?” Ben: “My mother taught me.” I want Ben and Miles to be BFFs and say snarky things to everyone else all day long. Jack asks if Ben knew that Locke killed himself. When Ben says no, Jack pulls out the suicide note. Ben asks if he’s afraid to read it, afraid to learn if it was Jack’s fault Locke killed himself. Jack says it wasn’t his fault. Ben rolls his eyes and gives Jack some privacy.
Jack opens the envelope. It’s a single piece of notebook paper. He reads: “Jack – I wish you had believed me. – JL.” That’s it. And then the plane starts to shake and shudder. Badly. Hurley pulls down his sleeping mask. The turbulence gets bad and the flight attendant is thrown into the side of the plane. Then there’s nothing but bright light …
And Jack wakes up to the scene at the start of the episode. In fact, they replay the whole damn scene. When Kate regains consciousness, the three of them wonder what happened to the plane, to Sun and Sayid, and to Ben. None of them remembers a crash and there’s no wreckage from the plane, so they decide to start searching. Before they can make a move, however, they hear music and a crashing in the underbrush. The Dharma VW van, in pristine condition, pulls up and the Dharma-jumpsuited driver gets out, pointing a rifle at them. Hurley: “Jin?” It is indeed Jin, and he appears to recognize them.
Previously on Lost / next time on Lost
13 hours ago