Thursday, February 19, 2009

"316"

After last night's episode ended, both Shannon and I declared, "I cannot wrap my head around all that just happened!" (We also told our respective husbands, "Best episode yet!") Upon viewing "316" for the second time, I realized what I loved about this particular hour of Lost was not so much what we learned, but what was alluded to. I'm a lover of literature and the Bible, and both were well-represented in this episode. Seriously, my head almost exploded. It. Was. So. Brilliant. Also, it's worth mentioning that I do believe every single frame of every single scene in "316" was of the utmost importance. There was not a single "filler" moment to be found. Clearly, this episode will stand to serve as a Very Big Deal in the Lost grand scheme of things.

Didn't the opening scene feel so familiar, yet so "off?" The very first scene of the very first episode of Lost was the close-up of Jack's eye, followed by the camera pulling back to reveal the neurosurgeon flat on his back in the jungle. We saw it again last night, but instantly I knew this was a different scenario. Still, the familiarity of this opening scene was like a warm, fluffy blanket. I was instantly cocooned and settled in for the journey.

Let's jump to the events that led to our gang's return to the island. When Mrs. Hawking mentioned the name of this off-island Dharma station, I didn't quite catch its significance at first. On my subsequent viewing, I realized the door she opened might as well have been a big ol' wardrobe door. As in a wardrobe door leading to Narnia. Because Hawking tells us we are entering "The Lamp Post." And I almost fell off my couch. I won't go into a review of C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The With and The Wardrobe, except to mention that a lamp post features heavily in the world of Narnia, as a light in the middle of the forest, shining day and night. Thrown down by the White Witch from a lamp post in London, this particular light becomes a living thing in Narnia's first days of creation, fashioned by Aslan to burn continuously. Just as Narnia's lamp post is a beacon in its woods, it seems Dharma's Lamp Post is the "light" our Losties need to guide their return to the island.

Whoa. I know, right? I wish y'all could see me jumping up and down right now, because this truly makes me giddy. No one can ever say Lost's creators and writers are not true genuises. 'Cause they are. Yep.

We enter the Lamp Post and yes, she's Ellie-the-Gun-Toter, Eloise-the-Mother-of-I Rock The Skinny Tie, Mrs. Hawking-the-Pawn Shop-Princess. Hawking appears to be many things to many people. She had one of my favorite lines of the night. Jack asks Ben, "Did you know about this place?" to which Ben resolutely replies, "No." Posing the question to Mrs. Hawking, "Is he telling the truth?" "Probably not!" is Hawking's smug summation. As per usual, we viewers are unable to pin down if Benjamin Linus is forthcoming with his information. (Also--did you notice how intently Ben listened to Hawking's explanation of the island...its movements, how it can be located, that a "brilliant man" discovered a way to achieve all this information? It appeared our man Ben might have been learning some of this material right along with us.)

Meanwhile our beloved Desmond's incredulity is escalating by the minute, and rightfully so. He's earned this complete disdain, dangit. Eventually he's all, "I'm done with the island--PEACE OUT!" Oh, snap! Desmond, brotha...I so adore you. But I also fear for your future, as well as Penny's and Baby Charlie's. The island is not done with you, Des.

After Hawking tells Jack that John is going to be the island's "proxy," I became giddy all over again. Texted my brother-in-law and a few of you ladies, saying, "It's getting all 'religuous' up in here!" Proxy? Substitute? Suddenly the title of tonight's episode takes on a new meaning. Of course we later learn that 316 signifies the Ajira flight our gang must soon board, but it may also reference the one Bible verse most of the world recognizes: John 3:16. "For God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." Just as I didn't delve too deeply in the world of Narnia's lamp post, I won't start preaching here. But I will say that John's role as the substitutionary atonement for our islanders? That his "death" paves the way for the restoration of the lives on the island, as well as the lives of the Oceanic 6? Whoa. I...well...just...WHOA! Admittedly, I cannot fully grasp this concept or its meaning in the overall scheme of this story.

Continuing with the theme of religion and faith, Jack finds Ben praying (or was he plotting?) in the sanctuary of the church. Ben then recounts the story of the Apostle Thomas, and how he is not remembered in Biblical history for his bravery (John 11:16), but rather for his doubt of Christ's resurrection. Ben says that Thomas, "Couldn't wrap his mind around it. He had to touch Jesus to be convinced." Jack asks Ben, "Was he?" Ben replies, "We're all convinced sooner or later, Jack." Almost from the moment of their introduction, John Locke and Jack Shephard have been at odds due, in part, to their world views. Locke is our Man of Faith, of course, and we all know Jack is the poster child for Science. But oh, how Jack is quickly becoming a student of fealty and belief. Later in the episode he boards Ajira Flight 316, which is the ultimate act of faith for Jack...returning to the place he spilled blood, sweat, and tears to escape.

Oh, let's not forget that Ben's going to see an old friend, to "tie up some loose ends." Even before we see him bloody and battered the day of the flight to "Guam," I think it's safe to ascertain Mr. Linus was referring to his threat to kill Widmore's daughter. My mind, nor my heart, can go to that unhappy place right now. Discuss amongst yourselves, please.

Remember I said earlier that there was no "filler" scene in "316?" Do not think for one second that Papaw Ray is not going to figure prominently in the future. A former magician? Who wants to get away, where "they won't ever find me." Yes, sweet Ray, grandfather o' Jack, we will be seeing you again soon.

Our island's two leaders meet up once again. Kind of. Jack takes his father's shoes to place on Locke's feet. For a second I was waiting for Locke to rise up and shout, "SUCKA!" But no. He's still dead. Or whatever. But Heather has a brilliant take on the whole shoe scenario here, so I'm going to let her have at it in the comment section. Take it, Heather! (I warned you, at least!)

And then we have Kate's booty call. I refuse to waste breath and space on this, other than to say that Kate was horny and had to get one last bit of Jack-lovin' out of her system. Or, since she's apparently given Aaron over to his maternal grandmother (Claire's mom--that's my guess, at least), maybe now she wants a baby of her own, and Jack would be a good BabyDaddy. Or sperm donor. Whatever. I'm so over them, clearly. But I do wonder what made Kate change her mind? Who convinced her to leave Aaron behind and return to the island?

Later at the airport, Jack is amazed and relieved to learn that his peeps will be joining him on the flight to "Guam." Let's just call "Guam" what it really is: a window in time, whereby Jack and Co. will return to the island. Got that? Great. Moving on. We meet New Dude, who politely goes out of his way to offer condolences to Jack for the loss of his friend. Awwww, New Dude. We will most certainly see you on the island.



After boarding the flight the usual confusion and outrage ensues, because let's face facts...these are some messed up folks. Why is Sayid in handcuffs, chaperoned by a U.S. Marshall? (Shades of Kate, Oceanic Flight 815?) Who convinced Hurley to return to the island? (Charlie? Does this explain the prominently featured guitar case?) On a side note, do we love that Ben, Jack, Kate, Sayid, Hurley and Sun are seated in First Class? Of course we do. And...they're off!

My new favorite line from Ben occurs mid-flight, when Jack asks Ben what will happen to all the other people on this Flight of Destiny. "Who cares?" This, my friends, is why I love, love, love me some Benjamin Linus. And Michael Emerson, who deserves a room full of Emmys for his performance in this role. Who cares? Exactly, Ben. Rock on.

Also, I hate to bring her up again, but Kate's snarky comment to Jack was no aside. Jack's all high on faith and possibility, gushing about the Oceanic 6 (minus Aaron) being "together again." Kate puts on her game face and snaps, "We're on the same plane, Jack, but that doesn't make us together." Beyotch. Play on, playa. Yeah, I said that.

The return of my beloved Jeff Fahey was a highlight of this episode. Yes, I uttered an adult word when Lapidus was revealed as the flight's pilot...without his Kenny Rogers beard, as Sawyer cleverly bestowed upon Lapidus while on the island. I love that Lapidus is no fool. After seeing his plane's cargo he immediately realizes, "We're not going to Guam, are we?"

Why is Ben reading Ulysses? Oh, the headache this gives me. Thanks, writers of Lost, for throwing another clue our way. Everything happens for a reason. James Joyce, the author of Ulysses, is noted for revealing this about his ginormous novel: "I put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant." And we have now summed up the mysteries of Lost in one sentence. Amen.

Oh dear, this post is growing longer by the minute. Please forgive me. There was just so, so, so much to cover in this one hour of Lost greatness.

I'll close with the episode's other "adult word" moment for me. JIN! In a Dharma suit!

The plane clearly enters a flash and we find Jack, Hurley and Kate reunited in the water. Where are Sun, Ben, and Sayid? Where's New Dude? Sayid's Marshallette? And not only do I ask where, but also, when? That VW van (blaring Geronimo Jackson tunes--I will stake my life on this!) comes roaring up to the water's edge, all shiny, bright, and new. You know, as VW vans looked well over thirty years ago. Toto, we are not in the 21th century anymore.

Let the discussing and sussing commence! I'm grabbing an aspirin, some Scotch, and a pillow. Just kidding. I don't drink Scotch. It will be red, red wine. Good times.

26 comments:

Shannon said...

I don't feel so bad for my long recap last week, LOL! But I don't think anyone can recap this show is just a few paragraphs!

I watched this epi for the 2nd time earlier today... and every. single. moment. was just as awesome today as it was last night.

So much... I still can't think straight. DUDE.

I'm in agreement that Aaron is now with Claire's mom. And I too would be that Jin's radio was blasting some Geronimo Jackson! AND that it was Charlie who told Hurley to get on the flight. Now how Sayid and his Marshallette got there, I don't know.

If Michael Emerson doesn't win an Emmy for this show... it will be a travesty. And the writers... oy vey! Every word was sheer brilliance! I loved loved LOVED this episode.

Do you think the "brilliant man" who Ms. Hawking said built the Lamp Post could be none other than her son?! Hmmmm...

I was grinning like a fool as soon as I heard Lapidus' voice over the plane's intercom... even before he said his name. I knew it was him. And the whole "we're not going to Guam, are we?"... LOVED it. I sure hope he is back on the island. And will get his "Kenny Rogers" beard back. But I just thought of something... remember what happened to the pilot of 815??? Uh-oh...

I really really really hope you are not right in your thinking that Ben went to make-do on his promise to kill Widmore's daughter! But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense... what else would he have gone to do? Would Ben killing Penny not be a reason for Des to get back to the island to seek his revenge?

I'm sure I will have more to say about this epi... but I will end this long-winded comment here!

Kristen @ dancing said...

Narnia references? PERFECTION!!!! The symbolism was just too much to handle! You've hit the nail on the head with the 316 references.

AND my favorite quote of the night was the same as yours from Ben, "Who cares?" I laughed for the rest of the night. I like me some Ben. Diabolical man that he is.

Jin. Dharma suit!! I knew this was coming as I had discovered a spoiler alert over the summer on this and now I need to find it. We are in for some shock factor I think.

Does Sun care about her baby at all? lol. Just left her behind like nothing.

Kate? Definitely gave Aaron to Claire's mom. She wasn't my favorite in this episode. I don't enjoy her 'tude.

So much to discuss. You do us proud, Lula!

Heather said...

So here's my whole deal on the shoe thing. Let's rewind for a moment when Jack is told that Locke is taking his father's place in the coffin to reinact the first fated flight and so had to have something belonging to Jack's father.

So why the shoes??? Why couldn't Jack have found his father's watch, or a pen or something. It had to be shoes because I think that is very spiritually significant. There are so many references to feet being blessed in the Bible. I thought it was interesting that Jack didn't just throw the shoes in the coffin with Locke (as I would've done). But instead he placed them on his feet and tied them up. It was detailed, it was spiritual, it was humbling.

I'm sensing a trinity thing going on here. Richard (God), Locke (Jesus), Jacob (Holy Spirit)??? And Jack - a disciple perhaps???

I'm not saying it's going to be the crux of the show, but it was loud and clear in last night's episode.

Excellent review, as always, Lula!!!

Just lots of spirituality.

Miss Blondie said...

My mind is still going crazy over this episode! Another brilliant week. I love the way you break it down and your theories Lula! Amazing. My favorite line of the entire episode was Lapidus' "We're not going to Guam are we." Loved it!

I'm really curious as to what role the "new guy" will play.

Ooh and remember the Ajira bottle of water Sawyer found on the beach during one of the flashes??!!

Seeing Jin in the Dharma jumper makes me think they are all back in time and maybe this is when Daniel tells Charlotte not to come to the island. And also maybe its why we saw Daniel in the first episode of this season. Aaah so many possiblities!!

Shannon said...

Doc Jensen's Analysis of "316":

http://tinyurl.com/c8e9r6



AND his recap:

http://tinyurl.com/cl526u

Heather said...

Lula, this was so worth the wait.

My mind is still spinning. I didn't even catch the title of the episode when I was watching it last night. I was loving the biblical references, though. Go on with your bad selves, Lost writers!

I, too, loved how Jack put so much care into placing the shoes on John's feet. I was like you, Lula; I was waiting for the scary part. The music, the silence; it was almost too much to bear. For a second I thought Jack was going to be locked in that freezer...

"We're not going to Guam, are we?". Def my fav line of this one.

One thing I kept wondering: why didn't anyone say a word to Ben about his bloody face??? Esp Jack, who was sitting right next to him and is a doctor, for God's sake!

I'm gonna watch it again tonight. Michelle and I both said it today: this was the best episode yet. Still have the leftover goosebumps!

Melissa said...

Lula, thank you for sacrificing your day for us. Now just go hug and kiss your family and consider it a day well spent.

Okay, I'm so going to have to watch this epi again. I am not as wise as some of my fellow authors. I consider it an honor to be grouped with such intelligence. I'm totally not worthy.

There have definitely been quite a few religious undertones going through the whole show. Claire with the virgin Mary, Eko being the awesome redeemed soul he was, baptizing Aaron, Man of Faith vs. Man of Science.....

Okay, the thing I don't get it why would that anagram be "reincarnation".....Is anyone ready for that headache yet? I want some theories on that.

This was definitely a great episode. I have to admit, when it first started I was a little annoyed by Eloise's explaining 4.5 years of mysteries in like a minute, but the rest of the epi made up for it.

Heather, I like your theorie on the shoes. There was something very special about the way Jack was doing that. He was humbled....and I was soooooo waiting for Locke to resurrect right there, too, but I'm glad the show didn't do what I expected. The writers are just good like that.

Time for some exedrin tension headache.

Melissa said...

Just thought of something. Where did Jill(the butcher) go? She is a really bizarre character? Didn't she say, "I'll be right back" or something like that?

Shannon said...

This is from Doc Jensen's recap:


Whatever. My big theory?

Grandpa Ray really isn't Jack's Grandpa.

HE'S JACK.

Older. Wiser. Off The Island. And here, at this moment in his history, he's helping his younger self along his path of destiny by giving him what he most needs: His father's shoes.




Oh.

My.

Head.

I cannot think about this anymore today...

Connect with your teens said...

This is the best post about this episode that I have read, and I've read many, including my own. Thanks for finding me on twitter. I'm going to have to bookmark you to come back each week. Please check out my weekly Lost post also, with the 316 post at http://connectwithyourteens.blogspot.com/2009/02/lost-season-5-episode-6-316.html
A few things that I missed in the post are made up for in the comments.

Shannon said...

I know I said I was done for the day... but I just thought of something!


When Bloody Ben made his phone call to Jack... he was at a marina! How are Des, Penny and Charlie traveling? BY BOAT!!!

WAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!

Rhea said...

Very, very awesome recap, Lula. I didn't even catch the whole Narnia/light post thing. OR that Eloise was Ellie. SHEESH!

Some awesome one liners last night. Ben rocks that show. And The minute he said he had to tie up loose ends, I was like, NOOOO, not Penny! I hope Des kicked Ben's ass.

Sun said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sun said...

When Kate asked for Jack to never bring up Aaron again.. was anyone else thinking?? Um, hello, it's his nephew..(retarded)

And speaking of Kate..

I have realized that when she is stressed..she likes to have relations..

it's the stress..
I believe.

My favorite quotes were from Ben and Lapidus as well. So awesome.. Had me laughing..

Jin in a Dharma suit...
Hurley with a guitar case..
Ben and his bloody face...
the new dude...
who the heck is that with Sayid...

all the questions..

hmmm. Has me thinking. . .

Lula, you have - once again..done us proud.
I think you may be right..
And Heather.. you may be as well.
This is all so spiritual. . .
and mysterious ..

Sun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lula! said...

Sunshine WINS!!! Best observation EVER!!!! Re: Kate--"I realized when she is stressed she likes to have relations."

Oh. My. Head.

Girl, that is all kinds of awesome. I have loved you for 11 years, but now I love you even more. Brilliant!

Lula! said...

p.s. Yes, Sun...good point..it was laughable that Kate told Jack never to bring up Aaron again. And ridiculous that Jack didn't respond with, "Beyotch, please...dude's my flesh and blood. I'll bring him up if I want to."

Futher proving what I've said all along--Jack and Kate can be douche bags. Um yeah...I said that. I think Jack's well on his way to returning to his hero status...but only if he kicks Kate to the curb.

She better not be pregnant with his baby. I swear...

Sun said...

Ha, Ha..

of course the only observation I would make that would make any kinds of sense would have nothing to do with the island but, instead about relations.. I mean really.

Glad you liked it though! :)

Brooks said...

I think that my husband may have been the only one to notice that the 'New Dude' was also an old dude. When Sayid was terrorizing others in the desert country, didn't he have a disagreement with this 'new dude'.....
There are never coincidences in this show.....

Are we wrong?

CaraBee said...

It took me a couple of days to finally have the time to sit down and read this review. Twice. Well done, Lula!!

Thoughts:
-I was also waiting for Locke to wake up, I was just certain that he was faking. All part of an act to get them back together and return to the island.

-Does Kate know that Jack is Aaron's uncle? Does anyone other than Claire's mom?

-I definitely recognized the "new guy" from an earlier episode, although there isn't one listed on IMDB. Maybe an uncredited cameo?

-I suspected that Ben had been to visit Penny and Des got in the way.

-Jin? In a Dharma suit?

-Are they split up, like the original plane was, half on one side of the island and half on the other?

So many questions.

Michelle said...

Ok, so I'm an uninvited guest, but I gotta jump in :) Only because I've been reading now for a few weeks and SO sucked in by this season.

Totally late to the party here and possibly way already discussed, but I happened to be reading a magazine the other day that talked about Jeremy Bentham. The name Locke used while off-island. He's an 18th century philosopher who believed that the greatest happiness of the greatest number should govern our judgement of every institution and action. Interesting pseudonym, no?

And no one's mentioned the flash that brought them to the island. Was it an actual crash? Did some of them disappear from the flight? Why so different from the original arrival -- because not everyone was there so it's unpredictable?

Wasn't Jin with Sawyer and crew the last we saw him? Why was he by himself in the Dharma gear? Why was he toting a rifle and so paranoid?

When watching the turbulence, didn't you feel bad for that poor stewardess being thrown around the plane? Knowing what was coming, didn't you want one of the Lost crew to tell her to buckle up and sit down?

I LOVED that Hurley bought up all the seats and wasn't letting anyone else on the plane. SO totally Hurley.

I missed the marina significance with Ben, but now I'm sad.

And speaking of sad, I was sooooo sad that Grandpa didn't make it out. He was trying to run away to somewhere better, and if I were Jack, I so would have taken him with me. He's going to get kicked out the next time he tries anyway.... but I totally agree that we'll see him again. Don't think I can quite get with it that this is Old Jack though.

I was SO mad when this episode ended... definitely a huge and well-done episode!

Vickie said...

I am a little late on this review.

Kate just pissed me off thru the whole episode. First Aaron is one of the 6 so he is supposed to go back. Then she is a bit of a skank and then "we are not together" beyotchie on the plane.

I was reading everybody's comments and you all got my head spinning! I never thought about the 316 and the religion connection!

Then Ben tying up loose ends? I wasn't sure what was going on. Then I read Rhea's comment and I remembered his revenge against Whitmore. Crap! Not Penny!

You guys have me spinning round, round, round!!

Tiffany said...

I'm pretty sure Ben kidnapped Des and family...when he called Jack he was next to a boat pier with boats tied up...yeah, they're smuggled on the plane.

Stupid !#$^ DVR cut off the last few minutes...Jin in a Dharma suit? VW Van? Uncle Rico? Crap!

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

I agree Kate drove me crazy in this episode but honestly she usually does. I kept asking my husband "How could Jack just not ask about Aaron, what kind of moron is he!?!"

And Sun, she can just leave her daughter behind? I told my husband that If I knew my daughter was alive at home and that he might be alive I wouldn't leave her to go back to the island to never return to her.

It was a good episode. I felt like I was getting all these answers to things and it felt a little surreal

Elena said...

Oh my laws! Did you just call Kate a beyotch???! Huh-lar-ious!!

You are all to smart for me. My brain can barely fathom the show, let alone catch all the little nuances. You ladies are brilliant.

Manic Mommy said...

- I totally hadn't thought of Ben getting to Penny.
- Desmond doesn't need to return to the island because he wasn't part of Oceanic 815.
- I didn't even know the flight number or the name of the episode was 316 but it's hardly a coincidence.
- I also just recently put together that Des and Penny's Charlie was named for Charlie.
- Wouldn't it be awesome if Charlie et al were no longer dead?
- I think that Jin was in the Darma uniform because Locke fixed the wheel and the flashes stopped leaving them to become members of the Dharma initiative or The Others.

I'll shut up now.