Follow along! The episode guide for “316” is in Finding Lost — Season 5, pp. 68-79 (followed by my epic 20-page summary of Ulysses. Damn you, Ben… you couldn’t have brought along a People magazine to keep you occupied on the plane?)
I love this episode (I think I start out every summary of the S5 episodes with this line, but this season was simply STELLAR). The opening is brilliant, reminding us of the pilot. But on a rewatch, after having seen the finale of S5, it made me think: was this a hint that a do-over simply isn’t entirely possible? I mean, landing on the island a second time was a do-over of sorts, but even when they’re given a second chance, things play out the same. Jack will always be the hero, racing to rescue the others. There will always be that spark between Sawyer and Kate. These people have very entrenched personalities – screw a hydrogen bomb: I don’t think a nuclear holocaust would make things different the second time around.
Fun things I noticed:
• I know that in the flashback of “Dead Is Dead” I commented that Ben had Pee-wee Herman hair when he stole Alex, but I think he kind of has it already in the church. Is it just me or is his hair really creepy after the donkey-wheel turn? He needs to lighten it slightly. The island needs to give that guy a hairdo makeover.
• I’ve always liked the significance of the church being a front for the Dharma Initiative, as if it’s a subtle comment on God becoming simply a front for man’s relationships to each other and to the Earth, which is what the DI was connected to.
• I commented in the book that the army photo is 09/23/54, meaning it’s 50 years less a day before Oceanic crashed. I wonder what the significance is of September 22? I’m assuming the Army landed on the 22nd, and took that picture the next day, right before they were obliterated.
• That scene with Desmond STILL drives me nuts. Does anyone else think that while Des is talking, Eloise somehow has the ability to put the others in a trance or something? Notice no one says anything to him, and he tells them that A) Eloise is Daniel’s mother, B) she’s the one who sent Des to the island and it turned out to be nothing but a waste of time, C) the island is sending him signs, and D) they’re all nothing but game pieces being played by larger forces at work… in other words, pretty freakin’ significant stuff! And they all stare at him, slack-jawed (watch closely: there may actually be drool coming out of the corner of Jack’s mouth) and say nothing, and the moment he’s gone they all give a big, “ANYway…” and get back to business. Like… HUH?! Did you somehow miss the part of the crazy Scotsman explaining this is nothing but a cosmic joke?
• By Jack putting his father’s shoes on Locke, Locke in a way becomes his father, which is a crazy twist in the greater scheme of things, especially since we just rewatched four seasons of them despising one another.
• Notice how many times in the ep Jack tries to have a drink and is interrupted. The island apparently wants him sober this time around.
• Hurley’s reading Y: The Last Man, which is the best book I read this year (I also review that in Finding Lost Season 5, but it’s after the Bentham entry, simply because I couldn’t have it follow Ulysses or readers would wonder if I’d ever get back to the actual episode guide in the thing!)
• You know, watching this again, perhaps in light of the terrorist scare a few days ago, I wonder why Hurley didn’t raise alarm bells. Why exactly is this guy buying 78 seats? Does he know something the rest of us don’t? Could he have an inkling that the plane is going to go down and he doesn’t want too many people going with him? And how could he know that? Is he a large, curly-haired terrorist?
• Just watching the plane take flight gives me the heebie-jeebies. The Oceanic 5 are truly brave people. I would have been curled up in a fetal position.
• “How can you read?” “My mother taught me.” BEST. COMEBACK. EVER.
• Matthew Fox is SO fantastic as he reads Locke’s note. I think I said this in the book, but he really looks like Locke just punched him in the stomach.
Things that have new meaning:
• We were discussing in light of “This Place Is Death” the curiosity of the island reacting so violently to Rousseau’s team, and in this ep I was reminded of Caesar and how he’s going to die, too. Could the island have something against the French? (I don’t mean that as a joke, actually… I wonder if there’s some underlying symbolism of the French Revolution or something, especially with Locke and Rousseau hanging about.)
• Does Ben bring down the plane? He goes to the bathroom and doesn’t return? Remember that thing he pulled out of the vent in “Because You Left”? Could it have been something he used in the bathroom? Was it hidden in his sling?